SCSU's Kyler Kupka discusses a cool outdoor ice setup his dad built, packing a toaster for the warming house
Senior joins the Huskies Hockey Insider podcast to talk about his career, having an appendectomy earlier this season, assisting on the game-winning goal on senior night and more.
Kyler Kupka grew up in Camrose, Alberta, which is about a three-hour drive to the north of Calgary. He grew up working on a family farm and his dad built a pretty cool outdoor rink for him every year that was so close that Kupka brought a toaster and bread to the warming house. His twin brother did not play hockey, but both his older brother and father played hockey, though Kupka has played at the highest levels among them.
Kupka was off to a great start this season (2 goals, 6 assists in his first 8 games) when he had to go in for an appendectomy. He could not skate for three weeks, but has come back and is having the best season of his career. Kupka talks about all of this and helps preview this weekend's playoff series against Minnesota Duluth with The Rink Live's Mick Hatten on this episode of the Huskies Hockey Insider podcast.
1:00 Having 2 goals, 2 assists in the series against UMD last weekend with his parents on hand, getting to St. Cloud from Camrose, Alberta
2:00 Senior teammate Zach Okabe taking on the bulk of the 18-hour drive back home, where they stop
3:20 His relationship with Okabe, how it's developed over the years
4:20 Growing up on a family farm, his least favorite chore
4:55 Where his twin brother is going to school overseas
5:30 What was his hockey dream growing up, wanting to play for his hometown junior team
6:20 His older brother played hockey, but his twin brother did not
7:00 Do people mistake Kyler for his twin brother
7:25 Following his dad and older brother into hockey, his dad building a rink
9:20 His first memories of playing youth hockey
10:45 What it was like playing for his hometown team during junior hockey, the adjustment to physical play
13:15 When did college recruiting begin for him? How did he choose University of Alaska? Why did he de-commit from Alaska?
14:20 Former SCSU assistant coaches Mike Gibbons and Nick Oliver recruited him, how Gibbons went on a recruiting trip to see him and Kupka gets kicked out for kicking
16:05 Why he only visited St. Cloud State, what his recruiting trip was like
18:05 What he is majoring in
18:30 Having an appendectomy this season, how his teammates took care of him, the recovery process
22:30 Coming back and playing in a sweep over North Dakota
23:15 Keys to the best season of his college career, playing on a line with Grant Cruikshank and Micah Miller
25:10 Playing UMD for the second straight weekend, for the fifth and sixth time this season, keys for SCSU in the series, the rivalry with the Bulldogs, this week of practices
27:00 His assist on the game-winning goal by Zach Okabe on Saturday