Mar 3, 2023
Idalski Wins WCHA Coach of the Year
Max Steigauf / Sports Director / @MSteigauf
St. Cloud State’s Brian Idalski won the WCHA Coach of the Year this year.
On May 19 last year St. Cloud announced that they had hired, Brian Idalski, as the new head coach for their women’s hockey team. 287 days later Idalski won WCHA Coach of the Year.
In-between that time Idalski lead the Huskies to an historic season going 18-16-1 which tied the program record for wins in a single season. The Huskies headed into the 2022-23 season picked to finish second to last in the division but ended up finishing fifth and just 18 points away from hosting a WCHA quarterfinal game. St. Cloud also set their program record with 36 WCHA points this season the most since moving to the three point system.
Leading the way for the Huskies was their great defense. With just a 2.6 goals against per game the Huskies claimed their second best defensive season on record. On the blue line the Huskies had breakout seasons from Dayle Ross, Grace Wolfe, and Regan Bulger. The Huskies lead the WCHA in blocked shots with 576 total. St. Cloud had the top four players in the conference in blocked shots, Dayle Ross 104, Grace Wolfe 83, Regan Bulger 78, and Taytum Geier 71.
Behind the blue line the Huskies boasted one of the best goalie tandems in the country with Sanni Ahola and Jojo Chobak. Ahola was outstanding for St. Cloud recording a .923 save percentage which was 17th in the nation. Ahola also had a fantastic 2.50 goals allowed average. Jojo Chobak burst onto the scene setting a program record five shutouts which was tied for 12th in the NCAA. Chobak also had .923 save percentage as well with a 2.46 goals allowed average which was 25th in the nation this year. The “Two-Headed Monster” worked wonders for Idalski setting a team record six shutouts.
Head Coach Idalski has set some high expectations for the women’s program after a fantastic first year. He isn’t new to turning around programs though. Idalski turned the North Dakota Fighting Hawks program into a perennial top WCHA team. Only time will tell if he will do the same with St. Cloud, but after this season it is hard not to be optimistic.