Sponsored By
An organization or individual has paid for the creation of this work but did not approve or review it.



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.

St. Cloud State forward Kyler Kupka
St. Cloud State forward Kyler Kupka (10) make a pass against North Dakota in the second period Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021, at Herb Brooks National Hockey Center in St. Cloud.
Jason Wachter / The Rink Live

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

It was the most since North Dakota, the host school for the Fargo Regional, played St. Cloud State in the 2015 regional when 5,307 fans packed the south Fargo arena, which opened in 2008.
The Huskies went into 2022-23 with no idea who was going to play goal, looking to replace 44% of their goal scoring and 5 of their top 8 point producers. They won 25 games, reached regional final.
Following his slashing penalty, the freshman forward took a stretch pass and housed it for the eventual game-winner.
Logan Cooley, Jackson LaCombe and Jaxon Nelson each had a goal and an assist in a 4-1 Gophers win in Fargo.
The Huskies (25-12-3) play the Golden Gophers (27-9-1) for a trip to the Frozen Four
Cory Portner is the director of the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center at St. Cloud State University. This week, he's lending his talents to Scheels Arena and the NCAA tournament.
Graduate student defenseman passes Easton Brodzinski in games played. Senior moves up on several program lists

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

For more coverage of St. Cloud and the surrounding communities, check out St. Cloud Live.
What to read next
Isaac Howard is leaving UMD after one season to go play for Michigan State and his former coach at the USA Hockey National Team Development Program.
The junior winger became the Fighting Hawks' first 20-goal scorer since 2016-17 this season.
Brett Larson shed some tears when he was asked about Jaxon Castor's playoff performance in championship game. Huskies' big players come up big in title game. Tigers come up short, but gain experience
Huskies beat Tigers 3-0 in the championship game to give SCSU its second NCHC playoff title
Get Local