SCSU coach talks about his team knocking off top-ranked Minnesota, his team's progress, coaching in China

Huskies women's team has already won more games (7) than it did all of last season (6). Brian Idalski joins The Rink Live podcast to talk about his team's strong start, his coaching career and previews this weekend's series against No. 7/8-ranked Minnesota Duluth.

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St. Cloud State women's hockey head coach Brian Idalski.
Courtesy of St. Cloud State University athletics

On Monday, the unranked St. Cloud State women's hockey team picked up its first win over the University of Minnesota since 2010, a stretch of 61 games. It was the third meeting of the season between the Huskies and Golden Gophers, who had defeated SCSU both times, the latter coming on a 2-1 win on Nov. 2.

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Brian Idalski is in his first season as head coach of the Huskies (7-6), who have won five straight games going into this weekend's WCHA series against Minnesota Duluth (3 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. Saturday, B1G+).

Idalski talks about that big win, keys to his team already surpassing last season's win total (6), his coaching career and his Olympic experience as the head coach of the Chinese women's team. All of this and a lot more on this episode of The Rink Live podcast with Jess Myers and Mick Hatten.


2:00 SCSU pregame chat before knocking off top-ranked Minnesota, the importance of showing that a one-goal loss to Gophers wasn't a fluke


3:25 JoJo Chobak's impact after transferring to SCSU from UMD, coach being able to score on her and Sanni Ahola in practice

5:45 Sanni Ahola's performance (34 saves) in the 4-1 win over Minnesota

7:00 Playing for the Columbus Cottonmouths, how he got involved in coaching

10:25 How he stumbled into college coaching at Wisconsin-Stevens Point, going 26-1 in his first season of coaching the Pointers women's team

13:00 The shock of North Dakota cutting women's hockey when he was the head coach in 2017, the success that the players went on to achieve after it was cut

16:25 Helping out coaching for a season at Culver Military Academy, the fun story of how he ended up coaching in China in the Russian pro women's league

19:40 Dealing with coaching in China, despite not speaking Chinese, what the food was like there

22:15 The level of hockey in the Russian women's league, coming back and comparing it to this season's WCHA


24:15 His experience coaching the Chinese Olympic team

25:22 Keys to his team's improvement on the penalty kill and power play

28:20 Previewing this weekend's series against Minnesota Duluth

30:00 What it has been like coaching SCSU's Olympians Jenniina Nylund and Klara Hymlarova

Senior forward Addi Scribner discusses her career, which includes playing in Kansas, and helping East Ridge High School make its first state tournament on this Huskies Hockey Insider podcast episode.
Ahcan is in his third pro season playing in the Boston Bruins organization after playing for the Huskies from 2016-20
Senior from Finland is up for National Player of the Month
Freshman forward from Calgary picked up his first college goal last weekend against Minnesota Duluth.
Huskies will be looking to rebound this weekend with a home NCHC series against Miami
The Rink Live reporters discuss Bulldogs sweeping top-ranked Huskies, Minnesota running away with Big Ten, North Dakota sweeps Miami, recap of WCHA action
The Bulldogs jumped out to a 3-0 lead via special teams goals to win their third-straight game and sweep their first NCHC series of the season.
The freshman winger recorded his second hat trick of the season and UMD scored four power play goals, including three on a Huskies major penalty.
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Former Huskies forward Cory Thorson played a key role in helping the team reach its first Frozen Four in 2013. He joins the Huskies Hockey Insider podcast to discuss his career.
The Huskies have dealt with a fair number of injuries this season to key players. The latest challenge is how to handle the loss of the team's leader in minutes played.

Mick Hatten is a reporter and editor for Forum News Service and helps manage, a website dedicated to hockey. He began working for Forum Communications in November 2018 and has covered St. Cloud State University hockey since 2010. A graduate of St. Cloud State, he has more than 30 years of experience as a journalist and has been a youth hockey coach since 2014.
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