Newcomers to Mens Hockey are Keeping the Team in Check

Devin Schelske, sports editor

Photo of Augsburg playing against St. John’s in the MIAC playoff semifinal game on Feb. 25 at the Augsburg Ice Arena taken by Kevin Healy 

Auggie fans are eager to see how the mens hockey team plays this year with a different core of coaches and players. Last year was Head Coach Greg May’s last season with the Auggies. The Augsburg mens hockey team finished the season as the MIAC regular season runner up and MIAC playoff champions. However, they were upset in the first round of the NCAA division three national tournament by the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. The Auggies also lost multiple key players to graduation such as defender Mason Palmer (second team all-american), forward Gavin Holland (2023 All-MIAC), forward Austin Dollimer (2023 All-MIAC), defender Nick Woodward (2023 All-MIAC) and Jarod Blackowiak (2023 MIAC honorable mention).

New Head Coach Garrett Hendrickson took over the team in August. Although he is the new Head Coach, Hendrickson isn’t new to the program. He’s been on the coaching staff as an assistant coach since the 2021-2022 season. He is also a graduate of Concordia-Moorhead (class of 2017) and has played against the Auggie hockey team several times. In his playing time for the Cobbers, he earned a spot on the MIAC all-rookie team and acquired three All-MIAC honorable mention honors.

This year the team began ranked at number 13 in the nation. Their first game was at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire who was ranked at 14 nationally. The game ended in an overtime loss with a score of 4-5. Oddly enough, some other key losses have put the Auggies at a rank of 12 nationally. 

A player to watch is senior forward Erik Palmqvist. Standing at 6′ 7”, Palmqvist is the easiest player to spot on the ice at any given time. However, fans don’t just have their eyes on him because he’s tall. In the 2022-2023 season, he ranked third on the team in goals scored with 11 and also had nine assists on the season. In his career at Augsburg, he has played in 74 games, scored 21 goals and assisted 25 goals. Palmqvist earned the nickname “Big Swed” since he’s from Linkoping, Sweden and is one of the team’s most physical players.

A newcomer to watch is sophomore forward Cade Stibbe, a transfer from division one Arizona State University. Stibbe scored his first career goal and tallied his first career assist as an Auggie in the loss to Eau Claire. Another newcomer to watch is junior forward Luke Mountain, a transfer from the University of Vermont. Mountain also scored his first career goal as an Auggie in the loss to Eau Claire.

Auggie fans can see the Auggies play their fourth game against unranked Marian University on Nov. 8 in the Augsburg Ice Arena. Augsburg begins conference play on Nov. 17 against unranked St. Mary’s University at the Augsburg Ice Arena.