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Grant Cruikshank discusses having skating coaches as parents, SCSU's early success, the ease of his transfer

The fifth-year senior from Delafield, Wis., talks about working with his father (Dave) and mother (Bonnie) on his skating. Both are former Team USA speed skaters turned skating coaches. He also talks about his transfer to SCSU on the Huskies Hockey Insider podcast.

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St. Cloud State forward Grant Cruikshank (19) skates the puck past Bemidji State defenseman Will Zmolek (4) in the first period Saturday, Oct. 29, 2022, at the Herb Brooks National Center in St. Cloud.
Jason Wachter / The Rink Live

Grant Cruikshank is off to the best start of his college career with eight goals and 13 points in the first 10 games this season for the St. Cloud State men's hockey team. Cruikshank is a fifth-year senior who played last season for the University of Minnesota and the three previous seasons at Colorado College.

The center talks about some of the keys to his fast start, the team's 8-2 start and previews this weekend's series against Western Michigan (7-4) at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center.

He also discusses his family, which includes his father (Dave), mother (Bonnie) and sister (Blair). Dave and Bonnie are former Olympic speed skaters who are now skating coaches. His sister is looking to compete in speed skating in the 2026 Winter Olympics in Italy.

Cruikshank talks about all this and more on this episode the Huskies Hockey Insider podcast with The Rink Live's Mick Hatten.

TIME STAMPS

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:30 Recapping last weekend's series at Denver, rallying after a tough start Saturday, what it's like playing at Magness Arena

3:00 What did the team learn about itself from the series against the Pioneers? Looking forward to playing against Denver at home on Jan. 20-21

4:45 Kyler Kupka missed last weekend's series after playing all season on Cruikshank's line. What it has been like playing with Kupka, Aidan Spellacy playing in his absence

6:45 What it is like playing with this group of Huskies, things that make this team unique

9:00 What it has been like playing for head coach Brett Larson, his characteristics as a coach

10:30 Playing center, why he thinks it is his best position

11:50 Why he has been able to get to the front of the net so consistently this season, getting to the tough parts of the ice

13:30 Things that will be important for the Huskies when they play Western Michigan this weekend

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14:50 Playing the physical part of the game, why he is tough despite being listed at 5-foot-11 and 195 pounds

16:00 Working with his father, Dave, who is a former Olympic speed skater, his mom, Bonnie Blair, a five-time Olympic medalist, and his sister, speed skater Blair Cruikshank, on his skating. Some "spirited" skating discussions with his parents, the balance of parenting and coaching

20:15 The return of Josh Luedtke to the SCSU lineup, how he welcomed body contact in practices after suffering a concussion

22:20 Comparing the defensive depth of the Huskies with last season's Gophers defensemen. The difficulty of facing the SCSU defensemen in practices

24:30 Being back on a power-play unit after not being on one last season, a few keys to SCSU's power-play success

25:30 What it has been like getting off to a hot start

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Mick Hatten is a reporter and editor for Forum News Service and helps manage TheRinkLive.com, a website dedicated to hockey. He began working for Forum Communications in November 2018 and has covered St. Cloud State University hockey since 2010. A graduate of St. Cloud State, he has more than 30 years of experience as a journalist and has been a youth hockey coach since 2014. mhatten@forumcomm.com
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