Megan Klaus a memorable competitor with Saint Anselm Hawks

Establishing herself as a highly dependable and reliable competitor for the St. Anselm Hawks women’s ice hockey program, Megan Klaus assembled an exemplary career accentuated by strong leadership. Enjoying a solid 113 appearances, complemented by 70 points, Klaus, a former competitor with the Pittsburgh Penguins Elite, enjoyed a stellar haul of hockey hardware over the course of four fantastic season on the Hilltop.

Beginning with New England Hockey Conference All-Rookie Team honors in the aftermath of her 2016-17 freshman season, appearing in all 27 games, there was no sophomore slump for Klaus. With the Hawks part of the new-look New England Women’s Hockey Alliance (NEWHA), Klaus was its first-ever Player of the Week, bestowed the honor the week of October 24, 2017.

Recognized for her heroics during a weekend series against Sacred Heart, Klaus would score the overtime winner in their October 20 clash, giving goaltender Maddie Scavotto her first win of the season.

The following day, Klaus followed it up with a power play tally, contributing towards a sensational 4-0 shutout win. Worth noting, Scavotto would win the inaugural NEWHA Defensive Player of the Week Award.

Ending said season with a historic place on the first-ever All-NEWHA First Team, it was an honor that she would duplicate as a junior, earning a spot on the 2019 edition, respectively. Joining her on the 2018 edition of the First Team included Hawks teammates Kaitlyn Spillane and Katy Meehan, who was a co-recipient of the NEWHA Rookie of the Year.

During the 2017-18 season, Klaus would pace all blueliners in the NEWHA in scoring, with an impressive 23 points, on the strength of 18 assists. Perhaps more impressive was the fact that her 16 points on the power play ranked tops amongst all competitors in the conference. Klaus’ contributions proved to be essential for a Hawks team that captured the regular season crown by just one point over rival Holy Cross.

Finishing her Hawks career with All-NEWHA Second Team recognition, Klaus gained additional acclaim as a member of the Saint Anselm Spring Dean’s List. Donning the Hawks colors for 29 games in 2019-20, which saw the Hawks gain recognition as an NCAA Division I school, facing off against the likes of Princeton and Brown, Klaus’ versatility made her a valued asset on both offense and defense. Possessing a fundamentally sound game, Klaus showed strong consistency, while placing in the top 10 in scoring among NEWHA blueliners, amassing a highly respectable 14 points.

Accentuating her 2019-20 season, Klaus enjoyed the prestige of placement on the All-Sportswomanship Team. Taking into account that teammates Katy Meehan and Amanda Conger, who finished her collegiate career as the honoured recipient of the Hockey Humanitarian Award, also earned spots on said team, it provided Klaus with the feeling of a shared milestone, enhancing her body of work as a Hawk.

As the season ended with an appearance in the NEWHA Championship Game versus Long Island University, the honor stood as testament to the tremendous impact and positive attitude that Klaus brought to the rink, certainly setting the type of highly important example that freshman and sophomore players can emulate as they enter the latter halves of their Hawks careers.

“I would say our team does not always do the best at recognizing the things we do well. Since I stepped on campus four years ago, we have always had high standards for ourselves on and off of the ice. This season did not exactly go as planned, so to find out Katy, Amanda, and I were recognized, it reassures us that although the season may not have turned out how we wanted it to, our hard work and dedication did not go unrecognized.

To earn a spot on one of the all conference teams is always an honor and something I am proud of but to pair that with earning that spot next to two of my other extremely well deserving friends and teammates is even more special. I think all three of us would agree that even though we were the only three recognized with this honor, it would not have been possible without the support, hard work, and dedication of all of our other teammates and coaches. I know I would not be the player I was at the end of my career at Saint A’s without my teammates and coaches pushing me to be better every day.”

Among the most important dates of the hockey calendar for Klaus involved February 15, 2020, as Senior Night festivities commemorated her career, one that saw her skate with the likes of fellow seniors Kaley Campbell, Amanda Conger, Jamie Gottwald, Michaela Kane, and Haley Marshall. Although the result in Manchester, New Hampshire was a 4-2 loss versus Long Island University, fittingly, Campbell would score twice, as Klaus made her mark, recording two assists during a highly emotional event.

Over four fantastic seasons. Undeniably, one of the most memorable career highlights for Klaus took place on Senior Night, a rite of passage that not only celebrates careers reaching their completion, but an opportunity for all involved with the program to rejoice. With the event also resulting in an alumni game, the result was a spectacular outing that supplied the likable forward with a lifetime of memories.

“Senior night is always an emotional day, even for the younger players. I think it puts things into perspective for everyone, especially us seniors. Having the ability to play college hockey and even further, at a fantastic facility with remarkable staff members is something I will always cherish.

The memories I made in Sullivan Arena with my teammates will always be special to me but to notch two assists in my last regular season game, in Sullivan Arena, with my family and friends in the stands cheering me on is definitely something special that I will always treasure.”

Equally meaningful during Klaus’ senior season was one of the greatest offensive performances in program history. A February 18, 2020 affair versus Post saw Klaus record an absolutely scintillating four-goal performance. After Post scored the game’s opening goal, as Catherine Proulx placed her name on the scoresheet, the Hawks dominated the remainder of the contest.

With Katy Meehan tying the score at the 11:50 mark of the first, placing the puck past Jenna Baumgartner, Klaus scored less than four minutes later for her first of the game. With Kaley Campbell and Kelly Golini earning the assists, said goal proved to be the game-winner.

Scoring in all three periods, including a pair of power play tallies in the third, Klaus assembled one of the great performances in program history. Earning the First Star of the Game, while Amanda Nylander, who recorded three assists, and goaltender Michaela Kane, were named Second and Third Star, the bigger picture allowed the Hawks to advance to the conference semi-finals versus Franklin Pierce.

“That game will always be special to me because I was able to score 4 goals which is a bit uncommon, but also because my fourth goal was my last of my college career, maybe even my career ever.

We went down 1-0 in that game and I think that lit even more of a fire in my teammates and I. The goals I scored in that game were because of outstanding plays by my teammates. I may have been the one to put the puck in the back of the net but that would not have been possible without them. If it was not for fantastic passes and excellent screens, I would not have even had one goal, let alone four.”

On what she enjoyed most, and what she will miss most about playing for Saint Anselm,

“I enjoyed the entire journey Saint Anselm Women’s Hockey provided me. This program taught me numerous life lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. I also very much enjoyed the bonds and relationships that I made with my teammates and coaches. Enjoying something a significant amount also means that it will be something you miss a significant amount and that is why I will miss my teammates and just the game in general the most.

Every athlete will tell you that there’s a special bond between teammates and that’s true. They are the ones by your side every single day, at lifts and conditioning sessions, in the locker room, on the ice, in the dining hall, and if you’re lucky like me you’ll live with some of them too. They understand the athlete side of you and what it takes to get to that level. Having 29 strong women putting all of their efforts towards fighting for the same goal is something special and something I’m not sure I will ever have the chance of experiencing again.

Lastly, I will miss my classmates. My classmates were there for me since day 1 and have become my best friends. I will miss sharing everyday with them but I know at this point we are closer than we have ever been and I am so grateful for them and for Saint Anselm and of course my coach, Kerstin Matthews, for bringing them into my life.

As a recent graduate, I have never been happier and more thankful to have had the opportunity to attend Saint Anselm and be apart of the women’s hockey team, and I will forever be grateful for my time there.”

“All quotes obtained first hand unless otherwise indicated”