Minnesota Crookston hockey announces schedule

Times Report
University of Minnesota Crookston Golden Eagles

The Minnesota Crookston club hockey team is all set to take the ice.

On Tuesday, the Golden Eagles, who are an ACHA Division II team, announced their schedule for their first season. They will play 14 games against competition from Minnesota and North Dakota.

The season begins with a two-game series Jan. 9 and 10 at Jamestown. UMC will play its first home games against Minnesota State Moorhead on Jan. 15 and 16 at the Crookston Sports Center, before hosting Williston State College on Jan. 29 and 30.

In February, the Golden Eagles will host Mary from Feb. 5-6 before going on the road to take on Williston State (Feb. 12-13) and a return trip to Bismarck to play Mary (Feb. 20-21).

Minnesota Crookston's season concludes with a two-game set at home vs. Jamestown (March 12-13).

The Golden Eagles previously had an NCAA Division II program, which won Midwest Collegiate Hockey Association titles in 2003 and 2004. However, the school discontinued the program in 2009.

The renewed program is a "competitive travel club" team, which is run out of the UMC athletics department.

The Golden Eagles will be coached by Steve Johnson, one of the top junior hockey coaches of all time. Johnson won two Clark Cup titles coaching the USHL's Lincoln Stars, and helped lead North Dakota to an NCAA Championship in 1987.

Minnesota Crookston's roster features a handful of names local fans might recognize. Ben Trostad, who is currently a junior on the UMC golf team, was a standout at Crookston High School from 2015-18. Casey Kallock is from East Grand Forks, while Austin Ryba and Houston Blankenship played at Thief River Falls.

Cam Olstad and Tyler Zahradka are from Grand Forks, while Wyatt Wardner is from Grafton, N.D. In addition, Brian Bekkala is a senior on the men's golf team.

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