Skip to content

Former Bruin wins NCAA national championship

@font-face { font-family: "Cambria"; }p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal { margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; }div.

@font-face { font-family: "Cambria"; }p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal { margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; }div.Section1 { page: Section1; }

Estevan Bruins alumnus Kyle Stroh is coming off his sophomore NCAA season and a division three national championship.

Playing for St. Norbert College in Wisconsin for the past two years, Stroh has established himself as a power forward who can put points on the board. His coach, Tim Coghlin, said he'll likely be ready to move up to the first line next year, with added responsibility on the power play and the expectation he'll be one of the team's point leaders.

"He's a very skilled kid," said Coghlin. "He's a big kid. Tremendous shot. Very nice hands in tight, and good around the net. This will be the first time he makes a big jump in the lineup. Next year he'll be on our top line. He'll play with our returning leading scorer."

Stroh finished seventh on the team in scoring this year with 11 goals and 20 points in 28 games.

"I'm probably more offensively minded than defensively minded," said Stroh. "You can always be formed to be a defensive player. I think it's a good thing if you're offensively talented because you can always get your mind around the defensive zone."

Stroh was a Bruin from the 2006-07 season to 2008-09. In 157 games in his junior career, he scored 65 goals and collected 124 points.

He put it very plainly.

"I like scoring."

St. Norbert has a history of recruiting players from the SJHL, and Stroh isn't the only one on the team now.

Coghlin is from British Columbia and the assistant coach is from Alberta.

"I go back into B.C. and I get kids there. Our associate head coach is from Fort McMurray, so he goes back that direction. We both go into Saskatchewan. Saskatchewan has had a lot of very talented young men come out. We get up that way pretty regularly. We've had great success with young men who have left the SJHL and come played at St. Norbert."

Stroh said going from playing against some of the guys who are now teammates wasn't too hard. It's all about not forgetting the past.

"Playing against our arch-rivals, Weyburn, and Justin Favreau (Stroh's St. Norbert teammate), you don't really like playing against him. Once you get to know them, they're all pretty good guys," said Stroh. "You have to come together. If you hold grudges against guys you played against in the past, you're not going to be very successful on your new team. You just put it behind you."

As the team won a national championship in his sophomore year, it's something of a high for Stroh. He said it was the team's goal. As a No. 1 seed they beat Adrian College 4-3 in the final on March 26.

Stroh missed the final game, after injuring his shoulder the night before in the semifinal.

"Sitting in the stands and watching the game was one of the hardest things I have ever done in my life," he said. "Especially because a lot of my family made the trip and you don't get to see them very often. You want to be out there playing. But we won the national championship that's all that matters right now."

The championship raises expectations for future success. That's not a problem, said Stroh.

"I think we'll be just as good for the next two years. But winning it doesn't mean we can just take it easy. I think it's going to be even harder coming back. The guys just have to have the mentality that we have to work harder just to try and fulfil the same goals.

"Every guy on the team this year now knows what it takes to meet that big goal. Always having that in the back of your mind, and having guys around you with the experience definitely helps. You don't want to be cocky, but you want a little swagger in your step. We can definitely do it again."

Coghlin is happy with the versatility they have in Stroh, using him in all kinds of situations.

"We use him as a trigger on the power play," said Coghlin. "He use him in all situations. He's also killing penalties for us now, because he's a very instinctive guy. He's a big body, and he skates like a pro."

He said they continue to get Stroh physically stronger and develop his defensive game mentally, while still letting him play his game offensively.

"He's one of those forwards, very typically when he hits that attack line, he'll challenge defence one-on-one regularly, and gets a quality scoring chance off that.

"He definitely will have a lot more responsibility with next year's team, and he's definitely ready for it."

push icon
Be the first to read breaking stories. Enable push notifications on your device. Disable anytime.
No thanks