Strobel reunites with 'Miracle on Ice' cast

By Troy Young

Eric Strobel is in Los Angeles this weekend for one of the more prestigious reunions in the hockey world.

Strobel, a Rochester Mayo hockey star in the 1970s, is in southern California for the reunion of the 1980 gold-medal winning Team USA hockey team. Strobel and the rest of the 1980 Team USA played a group of former NHL stars Friday as part of the National Hockey League's all-star weekend.

"This is the first time all 20 of us have been together, so we're having a great time," Strobel said Friday afternoon, after he participated in a skate-around with his former teammates. "It's fun to skate with everybody again."


Strobel attended the NHL's all-star reception dinner Friday night.

Strobel, who sat in the front row of the studio audience Thursday at the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, brought along his 14-year-old daughter, Leslie. "She's having a blast," he said.

• Strobel; and his wife, Kim, will be going to Salt Lake City next weekend for the Winter Olympics Opening Ceremonies. Kim said it was a difficult decision for him, considering he coaches a Pee Wee A hockey team in Apple Valley. "They have a tournament in Alexandria this weekend and he didn't know if he should miss next weekend, too," Kim said. In addition to Leslie, the Strobels also have a 13-year-old daughter, Kristi.

• Eric; Strobel works at University Capital, a phone and computer business. He and his sister, Kris, still own A.G. Strobel Inc. in Rochester.

• Look; for Hayfield senior Mark Oelkers to sign a national letter of intent next week to play football for Division II South Dakota State University. Oelkers, a 6 foot, 4 inch, 275-pound offensive tackle last fall for Hayfield, will be receiving a sizable scholarship. Winona State University and the University of Minnesota-Morris were the other schools on Oelkers' recruiting trail.

• Winona; State University graduate Wally Blase is the athletic trainer for the NBAAtlanta Hawks.

Center fielder Torii Hunter, in Rochester earlier this week for the Twins Caravan, on former manager Tom Kelly: "TK was more of a stickler of everything. But last year I saw a change in him. All the guys would go talk to him , he was always cracking jokes…; It was so relaxed in the clubhouse. I heard a lot of things about his father being sick, and it changed his life."

Some former Rochester Mustangs in the USHL: Goalie Jeff Jakatis, aRochester native, at Waterloo; Jordan Back, Kyle Cash, Tim Conboy, Steve Czech and Phil Larson at Topeka; John Daigneau and Ben Tharp at Chicago; Jesse Stokke at Sioux Falls; and Nate Hansen at Des Moines. Hansen was traded by the Mustangs to Waterloo and then Waterloo traded him to Des Moines in January.


Stewartville 2001 graduate Kim Hebl was named freshman volleyball player of the year in the North Central Conference. Freshman Sheri Swanson, of Hayfield, also played for NDSU last fall.

• Rochester; mayoral candidate (and University of Minnesota Gophers diehard) Ardell Brede was asked that, if elected, he would require city employees to wear maroon and gold. "For sure, we'll want to do it more often than the current, once a year, maroon-and-gold day," Brede joked. "Hey, maybe I'll even have another flag pole erected in front of City Hall to fly the colors. At the very least, I may have the 'M' in Mayor be the U of M's block 'M.' "

Don't be surprised if Rochester is host to a tri-state high school wrestling event similar to the Rotary basketball and Kiwanis hockey tournaments next winter. The event would be held in the Rochester Community Technical College's new fieldhouse, likely in January.

• That; Minnesota Chill setter Lindsey Berg is an avid surfer and outside hitter Kate Fitzgerald attended a firefighting academy are just two of endless interesting tidbits in the United States Volleyball League's impressive 100-page information guide.

Chill office coordinator Karen Kiewatt is a Rochester John Marshall graduate…; Prior to becoming the Chill's first assistant general manager, Frank Spaeth was senior editor at the Exhibitor Magazine Group in Rochester.…; Before becoming Chill GM, Kevin Ruetten was a national salesman for the Rochester Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Troy Young's local sports notes run every Thursday and Saturday in the Post-Bulletin. He can be reached at

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