CSS women drop puck on 1st practice under new head coach

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On Monday, for the first time since former head coach Jackie MacMillan’s departure, the College of St. Scholastica (CSS) women’s hockey team stepped onto the ice.

Under the guide of former assistant, now head coach, Julianne Vasichek the Saints hosted day one of practice at Mars Lakeview Arena ahead of the 2021-22 season.

"Jackie really put things together so well. She was so organized, has such an amazing work ethic and she built a huge foundation here. A strong one that we’re all going to stand on," Vasichek said. "I’m so lucky to have an opportunity like this, to step into a program like this, that’s so well prepared and with the recruits that she’s brought in and everything."

With more than five years of experience coaching the Saints Vasichek knows the program well. CSS returns a large core of upperclassmen from their Northern Collegiate Hockey Association championship run last season.

They’ll use their veteran knowledge to their advantage as the Saints transition into a new conference, the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC).

"This is a really big advantage for us coming into the MIAC, coming into the season," said CSS senior forward Rachel Anderson. "Everyone feels comfortable with each other. We know the system, we know what to expect out of each other. It’s definitely a huge advantage."

CSS will host the University of Wisconsin Superior (UWS) in both their exhibition opener October 21 and their regular season opener November 2.