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Eric Peterson, Published December 09 2013

At 23, Cobbers women's coach has already accomplished much in hockey

Moorhead - Sarah Erickson has an idea of what she wants her life to look like when she’s done with hockey.

The vision includes a guitar, artwork, a coffee shop and a lake.

“There is another side to me besides sports,” said the first-year Concordia head women’s hockey coach.

At 23 years old, Erickson has accomplished plenty in her hockey career. She has won a Division I national title and a gold medal at the world championships.

“It’s given me all the travels in the world,” said Erickson, originally from Roseau, Minn. “I have a friend from every state. I’ve got friends from almost every country.”

Erickson is nine games into her college head coaching career and she is already hooked. Concordia is off to a 1-6-2 start this season.

“I love coaching,” said Erickson, who was a four-year letter winner and two-year captain for the Minnesota Gophers. “I’m almost more competitive as a coach than I was a player. … I couldn’t have landed in a better spot in my first year as a head coach.”

Erickson won a national crown with the Gophers in 2012. While hockey has been a large part of her life, it isn’t her lone passion.

Erickson said she got a guitar for Christmas around five years ago with hopes of learning to play.

She has yet to master the instrument, but one day would like to write her own music and play some small acoustic gigs.

“It’s been staring at me,” Erickson said. “I just never get the time.”

Erickson views artwork as therapeutic. She would like to experiment with drawing, painting and clay. However, she wouldn’t feel comfortable showing her work to the masses at this point.

“I’ve never made anything that I really love,” Erickson said with a laugh. “But I want to.

“If I didn’t do hockey, I would love to own a coffee shop on a lake with music and an art gallery.”

But for now, hockey is her focus. The sport has been Erickson’s “thing” for as long as she can recall. She started skating at around a year old.

Erickson made the Pee Wee ‘A’ boys team when she was growing up in Roseau. She played her final three years of high school in Bemidji, Minn., winning Minnesota Ms. Hockey in 2008 before she played for the Gophers.

Erickson was on the U.S. Women’s National Team that won a gold medal at the 2013 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championships.

“She definitely knows what she’s doing because of all that experience,” said Concordia junior Madison Gendreau, who is from Bismarck. “She incorporates having fun and working hard. So every day it is fun and competitive.”

Gendreau said Erickson dressed up in costume for Halloween to inject some fun into practice.

Erickson thinks since she isn’t too far removed from her playing career, that helps her relate to her players.

“I know exactly what they are going through when they are on a high and when they are on a low,” she said.

Erickson thinks being around a hockey culture her entire life has helped during her first year of leading a program.

“I know what I’ve done and I know the experience that I’ve had and therefore I have confidence for that,” said Erickson, who was an assistant coach for Wisconsin-Stevens Point as season ago.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Eric Peterson at (701) 241-5513.

Peterson’s blog can be found

at peterson.areavoices.com