Womens Hockey Looks to Continue Their MIAC Playoff Streak

Angie Leno, staff writer

Photo of Chloe Stockinger, Kennedy Stein, Coach Michelle McAteer, Sydney Rydel and Malia Schubert for media day on Oct. 20 at Si Melby Hall taken by Kevin Healy

Michelle McAteer has begun her fourteenth season as head coach of the Augsburg women’s hockey team. Since taking over the program in 2010, she has rebuilt the Auggies into a consistent MIAC playoff contender. She is currently on a streak of eight seasons without a losing record and seven seasons without missing the MIAC playoffs (neither streak including the 2020 pandemic season). 

The Auggies had their work cut out for them in their first weekend of games. On Oct. 27, they faced the number one team in the nation who also happens to be in the MIAC, the Golden Gusties of Gustavus Adolphus College. The Auggies fell 1-5 but showed promise since both teams had a near equal amount of shots on goal. The fifth goal for the Gusties was an empty-net goal late in the third period. The next day, the Auggies faced non-conference opponent University of Wisconsin-River Falls, the number four ranked team in the nation. The Auggies were beaten 1-3 and were out shot 24-34. Augsburg went one for five on power play opportunities while UW-River Falls enjoyed seven power plays and cashed in on three. Despite the tough losses to highly ranked teams, the Auggies were able to get back on track against non-conference opponent University of Wisconsin-Superior on Nov 4. Augsburg dominated each period of the game thanks to the stellar offensive attack. The game ended in an 8-1 blowout in favor of the Auggies.

A player to watch this year is junior forward, Emily Cronkhite. In the 2022-2023 season, Cronkhite earned MIAC All-Conference honors after scoring 15 goals and 19 assists. This season she scored the Auggies’ lone goal in the loss to UW-River Falls and has two assists in the blowout of UW-Superior. Another player to watch is sophomore defender, Nora Stepan. As a first year in the 2022-2023 season, Stepan earned MIAC Womens Hockey Rookie of the Year as well as MIAC All-Conference honors after scoring eight goals and 12 assists. This season she scored a goal in the offensive thrashing of UW-Superior and assisted Emily Cronkhite’s goal against UW-River Falls. 

A newcomer to watch is first year forward, Ella Olson. Olson has played in all three games this season and has made an impact in each. She showed her striking ability by scoring two and assisting two goals against UW-Superior. She also assisted the Auggies’ lone goal against Gustavus. Olson currently leads the team in points and is tied for fifth in the MIAC with five points.

Fans will be able to see the Auggies’ next home game on Nov. 18 as they take on conference foe Saint Mary’s University for the second game of a two game series at the Augsburg Ice Arena.