SIOUX FALLS, SD (KELO) — Augustana University made hockey history this past weekend with the school’s first-ever home game on the ice. The Vikings swept their two-game series against Bowling Green at the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center. But the Augie team can’t get too comfortable playing at the PREMIER Center, not with a new arena going up on campus.
Augustana freshman Hunter Bischoff will go down in school history as the player who scored the first-ever goal for the Vikings hockey team.
“I think it’s pretty special. But at the same time, I feel like it was everyone coming together and I think it was even bigger than that, we get our first win,” Bischoff said.
Bischoff is impressed with the way local fans have embraced the hockey team so early on.
“The Denny was pretty awesome. The crowd was amazing. I couldn’t say enough about all that and I’m looking forward to having the rest of the games there and especially getting into the new rink,” Bischoff said.
Augustana will play its first five home games at the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center until it’s time to move on-campus at the new Midco Arena that’s under construction.
“The amenities, the facilities. You guys will all see in time, it’s a wow moment when you walk into the Midco Arena,” Augustana hockey head coach Garrett Raboin said.
Augustana back-loaded its schedule so the team will play a majority of their home games here at the arena on campus later in the season. But as a result, the Vikings won’t play their next home game at the PREMIER Center until November 25th.
“It is what it is. And we’ve had that conversations with our athletes and you just have to make the best of it and you have to tackle it together. That’s the biggest thing is as long as you have each other, you can get through darn near anything,” Raboin said.
Enjoying home ice at two different venues: just another first in a historic season filled with so many other firsts.
“Even at the Denny, it feels like home already and the crowd was awesome. Yeah, just can’t wait to get back at it,” Bischoff said.
The Vikings are scheduled to play their first game on-campus January 26th.
Augustana announced Tuesday that the school will offer both men’s and women’s club hockey at the arena beginning in the fall of 2024.