Senior Emily Erickson (F, Coleraine, Minn.) has been one of the Bemidji State University women’s hockey program’s most prominent skaters over the last four years. After being forced to sit out all but five games of her freshman season and take a medical redshirt due to injury, Erickson has been one of the team’s offensive leaders.
After leading the team with 17 goals last season, the three-time Academic All-WCHA Team member has nine points in 2012-13 and now sits at eighth on the all-time BSU scoring list with 85 career points. Erickson, who has 126 games of college hockey experience under her belt, will be a key cog in leading BSU to a second-half improvement.
We caught up with Erickson for a question and answer session.
How do you assess the first half of the season?
While wins and losses are easy to look at, the true assessment lies within our work ethic. Every year the personnel of the team changes but the true heart of Beaver hockey has remained. Hard work, grind, and love for the game have been the epitome of Beaver hockey. Success as a team comes when we as individuals are all on this page and I believe we are progressing towards this.
As a Minnesota native, do you get more excited to play in-state teams like Minnesota?
I get excited to play any of the teams in our conference. I have always known I wanted to play in the WCHA. It’s a competitive league with a tradition of excellence.
The team had its winningest season last season and along the way, there were a lot of great moments. Where does the 2-1 win over Gophers rank among those? Can you talk about what you remember from that game?
Throughout my time here at BSU the mantra of this women’s program has always been about hard work. No matter the score we have always taken pride in our work ethic. Over the years there have been games where we have been the underdog or come from behind to win a game by outworking our opponent with that Beaver hockey style. I can vividly remember stepping back and taking a moment to soak in the experience of watching my teammates celebrate their hard fought victory over Minnesota last year. It was a great feeling.
Can you talk about your injury that caused you to sit out a season and how your redshirt year has affected your college career?
As a freshman I found the experience pretty devastating at the time. Not being able to play was not easy to say the least. It turns out that what I found to be such a setback ended up being one of the greatest blessings. I was able to see the game from a different angle, take a year to just learn, and come back stronger. I was blessed with another year of wearing the Beaver jersey. I couldn’t ask for anything better.
What are your plans for winter break?
I plan on spending quality time with my family and close friends. I look forward to skating with my nieces and nephews on the outdoor rink, playing in the snow, baking cookies, and drinking hot chocolate. Christmas has always been one of my favorite times of the year. My roommates can tell you that—I’ve decked out the house with decorations and started playing Christmas music nearly a month ago. Having the opportunity to spend time with these special people is a blessing that I look forward because it’s difficult with our busy schedule.
Can you tell us about your major in school and what are your plans for after college?
I am double-majoring in general mathematics and mathematics education with a coaching specialist certification. I will be student teaching in the area next semester. After graduation I hope to find a teaching position at the secondary level. Also, I see myself coaching hockey, tennis or softball. I have a passion for all of these and have been blessed with wonderful coaches throughout my athletic career. These coaches have not only influenced my play, but have positively impacted my life. I want to pay it forward to other young people.
What will you miss the most about BSU?
Hockey has played such a large role throughout my entire life that it’s difficult to even fathom the end of a college career. The sport has brought me to many great places and given me countless opportunities throughout my life. The greatest of these opportunities is without a doubt having the honor to wear the Beaver jersey. I will miss the Beaver family the most. I am very fortunate to have had the opportunity to gain an education while playing the game I love so much. What I did not know coming into this program five years ago was that I was going to leave with much more than I ever expected. I have the professors, the coaches, the players, the staff and the loyal fans to thank for this.