By Carl Goenner
Newly hired St. Cloud State University Women’s Head Hockey Coach Brian Idalski had his introductory press conference the morning of June 2. Before becoming the head coach of the University of North Dakota women’s hockey team in 2007, Idalsky was an assistant coach for the St. Cloud State women’s hockey team for the 2006-2007 season and most recently was the head coach of the 2022 Chinese women’s olympic hockey team. After an introduction by Athletic Director Heather Weems, Idalsky spoke and answered questions from the media, providing a very positive feeling for the future of the SCSU women’s hockey program.
Idalsky began the press conference stating the challenge of being in the “best conference in women’s college hockey “The Western Collegiate Hockey Conference (WCHA)” and how being a competitor means wanting to beat the best. The new coach then talked about what interested him in the job and the process that led him back to St. Cloud. His reasoning, along with some personal aspects being simply, that he believes this is a place that you can win and be successful. “After seeing what Brett Larson has done with the men’s team, I don’t see why we can’t do that with the women’s program.”
A question from “The Rink Live” reporter Mick Hatten asked what key elements will be important to this program moving forward into year one. Idalsky responded by mentioning mentality and belief along with work ethic that will set the tone for them this year. The new coach also mentioned his excitement for this program because the situation is not a complete overhaul like it was when he took the reins as the head coach of the University of North Dakota women’s hockey team back in 2007.
Hatten also asked where the coaching staff gets started with and how they go about the recruiting staff going forward. “We as a coaching staff have to identify what a Saint Cloud State women’s hockey play looks like” said coach Idalsky, stating that the coaching staff will decide what they value in a recruit and once they decide that, then they will start looking at the recruits that fit those values.
When asked what style of play he prefers coach Idalsky said most of his teams are referred to as teams that work hard, compete and are disciplined but also physical. Coach Idalsky then talked about his preference of either skill or team chemistry and that he believes a team needs both to be successful. Idalsky then discussed the potential advantages that he could have coaching collegiately after coaching professional and Olympic hockey mentioning that overcoming obstacles such as language barriers has made him a better teacher.
The skill and competitiveness that the St. Cloud State women’s hockey program contains is definitely promising and after a very informative press conference.