Hickel joins Ohio State University women’s hockey coaching staff
Five years after playing in the WCHA as a player, Zoe Hickel of Anchorage is going back to coach in the premier college hockey league.
The former University of Minnesota Duluth star who went on to play professionally for five seasons is coming back to the college game after joining the coaching staff for the Ohio State University women’s hockey team.
Hickel enjoyed a decorated playing career, winning titles in the NWHL with the Boston Pride and the CWHL with the Calgary Inferno as well as two World Championship golds with Team USA.
She played last season with her sister Tori in Sweden, where she led her team in scoring and served as strength coach and ran on-ice skill sessions for senior and junior level teams.
She attended the American Hockey Coaches Association national convention and earned her USA Hockey Level 4 coaching certificate and served as an assistant coach for NCAA D1 Merrimack College for the 2015-16 season.
Coming back to the WCHA as a coach is a big deal for Hickel.
“I am honored to be joining the women’s hockey program at Ohio State,” she said. “I am at a perfect place in my life to use the experience and cultures I’ve absorbed over the years of elite play, coaching and world travel to give that back to our team and to embrace the opportunity to help make a difference in this next generation.”
Hickel, of Service High fame, racked up 45-47-92 scoring totals in 135 games for Minnesota Duluth from 2011-2015.
From 2015 to 2017 she played in the NWHL for the Boston Pride and Connecticut Whale, accumulating 7-8-15 totals in 31 games.
She had a breakout season in 2017-18 when she piled up 12-26-38 totals in 28 games in the CWHL with the Kunlun Red Star, earning first-team all-star honors and winning the league title.
Hickel led the CWHL in assists and scored two goals in the league championship game, a 5-2 win over Montreal.
“When hiring a coach you need to look at the complete package,” said Ohio State head coach Nadine Muzerall. “Yes, the Xs and Os matter, but they only consume a small fraction of the everyday coaching of these young women. We are developing them to be strong-minded women for life after hockey. There was no one better for this then Zoe Hickel.”