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Published February 13, 2014, 06:00 AM

Beyond the Game: Concordia coach making most of missed opportunity

Moorhead, MN (WDAY TV) - Many of you in the Red River Valley woke up early Wednesday morning to watch the best matchup in women's hockey - the United States and Canada.

By: Dom Izzo, WDAY

Moorhead, MN (WDAY TV) - Many of you in the Red River Valley woke up early Wednesday morning to watch the best matchup in women's hockey - the United States and Canada.

In Moorhead there was one interested spectator, Concordia hockey coach Sarah Erickson, who came as close as one can be to being a member of the team.

Sarah Erickson – Concordia Women’s Hockey Coach: “I think about it every day, I'm not going to lie. I hit this one bridge coming from West Fargo to the Concordia campus, and for some reason something just clicks. I start thinking, not ‘What if?’ but, the red white and blue starts popping in my head.”

Less than a year ago, Erickson was wearing the red, white and blue in Ottawa as a member of Team USA as the Americans beat their hated rivals for the World Championship. Her eyes were squarely fixed on Sochi and the Olympic Games. But in the fall at the US' training camp; Erickson tore a knee ligament, ending her Olympic dream.

Sarah Erickson: “There are what if's, but at the same time, there’s the wows too, like, ‘How blessed am I to be doing this right now?’”

What she's doing now is making headlines as the youngest coach in Concordia's history. Her players know of Erickson's international experience, but it's gone unspoken.

Bekah Wright – Concordia Junior Forward: “She doesn't talk about that much. We all know she had that opportunity and we all look up to her for it, but she doesn’t speak of it that much.”

Now, while the Olympics may be the unspoken word around these parts, that doesn't mean there's no sign of Team USA around here. Just look at a clipboard on the Concordia bench and the color of the gloves that the head coach is wearing.

Sarah Erickson: “If I didn't have the experiences like that…it's not a bad problem to have, I was pretty fortunate to have the experiences I did have. I think it would kind of be wrong if I didn't think about that. At that point I would kind of think, maybe was I doing it for the wrong reasons if I don’t have almost a ‘what if?’ in my head. That was my time, at the Olympic tryouts, to show what I could do, and unfortunately it didn’t go my way. I’m not a big sulker; when things happen I’m a go-getter, what’s next? type of person, and this coaching thing. I’m almost more passionate about this than I am about playing.”

After a slow start, the Cobbers are red hot on a eight game unbeaten streak heading for the playoffs. As for her playing career, Erickson told me not to count out 2018.

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