Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Steinkamp talks future Augie hockey dreams

1. What’s it like to be the sole senior on the roster, and what kinds of responsibilities do you hold?
“Being the only senior on the team is interesting. I am the person the new student-athletes come to for questions about classes.  Along with this, I have the most experience as far as collegiate (ACHA) hockey. Because of this, I have to make sure the team is ready for the games, mentally and physically.  As the sole senior on this intermixed squad of returning and recruited players, it is my job to make the team mesh.”
2. What are some of the most prominent team goals for this particular season?
“Our team goals for this year  were set at our first team meeting where it was made clear this year would be tough because we are laying the foundations for  a new program.  Obviously, everyone who plays a sport does so to win, otherwise you wouldn’t be competing and that is just what we want to do, compete.  We are playing the toughest D2 club schedule in the nation and our record shows it, but it doesn’t represent how far we have come.  We are building as a team and a family to create a core image of Augustana Hockey.”
3. As a senior, what are some of your personal, final goals for your last season as a Viking?
“My personal goals for my last season is to lay the groundwork for the next years of Viking hockey.  I want to create a real “team” atmosphere, because during my first few years of playing here the team really did seem more like a club. People would show up when they wanted to, which made it difficult to form any chemistry with the team.  One of my other goals I would like to achieve is more awareness of the hockey program on campus, as well as respect. Despite being a “club,” we get concussions, broken bones, and other injuries.  To us it isn’t a joke. We play a sport, and we play larger schools so support from the student body would help accomplish this.”
4. What is the team’s biggest strength and weakness? 
“Our team’s biggest strength is that we do have a large group of young players willing to learn and help build our program up from where it was when I started playing here.  They have the resolve and perseverance to stay the course, and I expect in two to three years to see great strides made in the team.  Our team’s biggest weakness is our size.  As it stands we only have 17 players, 14 of which are skaters (non-goalies) while the other teams have at least 22.  It has been a recurring trend this year that we can play with just about every team in our schedule, but we end up losing out in the last period  because we lack the depth in our bench to keep fresh legs on the ice.”
5. Do you ever wish Augustana hockey was considered a varsity sport rather than a club sport? “I do wish our hockey program was considered a varsity sport by the school.  If we were recognized by the school as a varsity program, we would be able to get the support a team like ours, that plays 30+ games in a season needs.  When we get injuries on our team, that has a huge impact with our low numbers and it was not until recently we had athletic trainers at our games.  Since we are not considered a real sport by the school, we get overlooked in that field, which can be scary when you see someone go down on the ice.
6. What has been your most proud moment while playing?
“My proudest moment as a Viking has to be when we were playing Lewis University my sophomore year when three Lewis players jumped my line-mate.  I pulled one of the players off (he was a head taller than me and outweighed me by about 40 pounds), and he started swinging at me so I pinned him up to the boards and dropped him on the ice.  When I got back to our bench, there was nothing but smiles from the rest of the guys who watched it from the other side of the ice.”
7. What are your hopes for the future of Augustana hockey?
“I hope to be able to come back to Augustana and watch hockey games at the iWireless Center, with students invested in the program.  Most of all, I want to see the program grow in general because we play from September to February, and hockey is a lot of fun watch.”

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Steinkamp talks future Augie hockey dreams