Molly Engstrom named head coach of Maine women's program

Former University of Wisconsin All-American and Olympian spent the past four seasons as an assistant coach at St. Cloud State

Two-time Team USA Olympic defenseman Molly Engstrom was named an assistant women's hockey coach for St. Cloud State University on July 17, 2017.
Contributed photo

ORONO, Maine — Molly Engstrom has been named the seventh head coach of women's ice hockey at the University of Maine.

"We are thrilled to have Molly Engstrom join us in Orono," Maine Director of Athletics Ken Ralph said in a news release. "She possesses the strong playing and coaching background necessary to elevate the profile of our women's hockey program. Her connections through USA Hockey and contacts overseas give her great reach into key recruiting grounds. Our students will benefit by learning the game from one of the top players in Team USA history."

Engstrom, a native of Siren, Wis., spent the 2018-2022 seasons as the assistant coach at St. Cloud University. She was one of three finalists to be the SCSU women's head coach, but Brian Idalski was named the Huskies' new head coach on June 2 .

"I feel very grateful for this opportunity," Engstrom said in the news release. "I am looking forward to contributing to the development of the players, team, and program at UMaine. There is a strong tradition of hockey at the University of Maine, and I am eager to continue to build off of that foundation and those traditions. I want to thank Ken and the administration for giving me this chance."

Engstrom, a two-time member of the United States women's hockey team at the Winter Olympics, won a bronze medal with Team USA in 2006 at the Turin Winter Games and a silver medal in 2010 at the Vancouver Winter Games. Engstrom earned the 'Best Defenseman' award at the 2010 Winter Games.


Engstrom was a member of Team USA at six IIHF Women's World Championships from 2004-2011 and helped Team USA win IIHF World Championships in 2005, 2008, 2009 and 2011, along with silver medals in 2004 and 2007.

She has served as a USA Hockey Developmental Scout since January 2019 and a IIHF U18 High Performance Camp Coach/Ambassador since April 2016.

Engstrom played and coached in the Swedish Women's Professional Hockey League (SDHL) from 2016-2018, and helped her team Djurgarden IF win the SDHL championship in 2017. She served as the girls varsity hockey head coach and assistant athletic director at Kimball Union Academy in Meriden, N.H. from 2014-2016.

In addition to her professional playing and coaching experience in Sweden, Engstrom played professional hockey with teams in Minneapolis, Toronto and Boston in the CWHL and NWHL from 2007 to 2013. She helped her Brampton-Canadette Thunder team win the CWHL title in 2008 and the Minnesota Whitecaps win the Western Women's Hockey League crown in 2009.

A 2007 graduate of the University of Wisconsin, Engstrom played collegiate hockey in the WCHA with the Badgers. She received First Team All-American honors while at Wisconsin and was also named the WCHA Defensive Player of the Year in 2004 and 2005. She was selected as a Patty Kazmaier Award top 10 finalist in 2005.

Engstrom went on to receive a Masters of Sports Administration from the Russian International Olympic University in 2014.

Maine took fifth in the 10-team Hockey East conference standings last season and finished 15-19-1 overall in Richard Reichenbach’s ninth season as head coach. Reichenbach and his wife, Sara, an assistant coach, resigned the last week of July.

ST. CLOUD, Minn. -- The St. Cloud State women's hockey team has another highly accomplished former player on its coaching staff. Two-time Team USA Olympic defenseman Molly Engstrom has been hired to be an assistant coach for the Huskies....
Brian Idalski talks about living in the dorms again, taking over as SCSU women's hockey coach, his career
Since being introduced as St. Cloud State University's sixth women's hockey head coach on June 2, Brian Idalski has been working on getting to know all of his new players. He and his wife have temporarily moved into the SCSU dorms at Shoemaker Hall and he is getting used to his new surroundings. Idalski is no stranger to women's hockey. He was the head coach at Wisconsin-Stevens Point from 2001-06, spent one season as an assistant coach at SCSU and then was the head coach for the University of North Dakota from 2007-17. Idalski discusses what he's learned about the Huskies he's inheriting, talks about his background in coaching and his playing days growing up in Michigan and playing AAA hockey. All this and more on the Huskies Hockey Insider Podcast with The Rink Live's Mick Hatten.<br/>
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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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