Article Written by Zac Chapman. Photo Provided by Bill Prout.
Spencer Meier dreamt of putting on the black and cardinal sweater. He looked up to the teams before him. Now a local hero, he reflected on a successful career that all started with a dream.
Meier’s grandpa is a longtime St. Cloud State Huskies fan. At the age of three, Meier started attending games with his grandpa, a season ticket holder for the past 25 years.
“He’s the reason I’m here,” said Meier about his grandpa. “He would bring me to games, and I just fell in love with it right away.”
Meier grew up in Sartell, Minn. just 15 minutes north of St. Cloud State. There he skated on his backyard pond in the winter and at the town’s indoor rink in the summer.
Meier credited a big part of his success to Sartell’s youth hockey program.
He is the first successful Division 1 hockey player to come out of Sartell, and the second player to ever play for a Division 1 program.
After high school, Meier played a year in the United States Hockey League (USHL) with the Fargo Force where they won the 2018 Clark Cup.
Meier then started to hear from Division 1 programs.
“Northern Michigan were the first ones to call me,” said Meier. “They were pushing me, so I went to go visit. I thought it was crazy. I never really realized I was going to get an opportunity to play D1, so when the first school called, I didn’t really think about other schools because in the moment, I was just lucky to get that one.”
Meier also visited Bemidji State and talked with Minnesota State and Minnesota Duluth briefly, but his recruitment ended after he received his next offer.
“When St. Cloud State called, it was a no-brainer,” said Meier. “I didn’t even come on a visit; I’m from here, I know what it’s about.”
Meier is not the first one in his family to participate in St. Cloud State athletics. Meier’s dad, Kevin, played baseball at the University.
The former head coach of St. Cloud State men’s hockey recruited Meier to the team before he took the head coaching job at the University of Minnesota.
“When [Brett] Larson was named the head coach, it was still a no-brainer for me,” said Meier. “Larson called me and the rest of my class, and said ‘just so you know, I want you to come here. You’re not leaving. You’re coming to St. Cloud. We really want you.’ That just confirmed it for me. I’m coming to St. Cloud.”
Meier joined as a late add, and he credited his transition to many of the other players in his class.
“It was an amazing class to come in with,” said Meier. “A great group of guys who are best buddies for life. I call them brothers.”
The team leaned on one another to grow, and the upperclassmen helped pave the way for Meier and the rest of the underclassmen.
Meier said former captain’s Jimmy Schuldt and Jack Ahcan impacted his game and leadership and after two seasons, the team named Meier captain.
“It was a dream come true and really emotional for me,” said Meier. “The first thing that went through my mind is I’m a junior, and there are some seniors on this team that probably wanted to be captain, but the team voted on it.”
Under Meier’s leadership, the St. Cloud State Huskies rallied to their second ever Frozen Four. After defeating Minnesota State, the Huskies earned their first ever trip to the National Championship game.
“The Frozen Four run was really cool,” said Meier. “You get police escorts everywhere; you show up to the hotel and the band is playing for you; big meal room and a pool table; a bunch of games; and relaxation; and the whole town comes to support you. That was really cool.”
Meier said winning the Penrose his freshman year and winning the NCHC tournament this past season are some of his fondest memories.
While Meier is known for being the captain of the St. Cloud State Huskies on the ice, his involvement outside of the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center speaks volume about his character.
This past year, Meier started a week-long youth hockey camp for boys and girls between the ages of six and 13.
“The hockey camp has been a blast,” said Meier. “We ended up having about 60 kids sign up.”
St. Cloud Subaru and Cory Oberg Real Estate sponsored the camp and some of Meier’s teammates came to help coach.
Meier will host the camp again this summer. Registration is open at spencermeierhockey.com.
Outside of his own camp, Meier participates in other camps around the community, including CMDP that’s run out of Sartell and Minnesota Wild Special Hockey.
He also participates with Special Olympics Floor Hockey.
“It really puts it into perspective how good we have it,” said Meier on his participation with the Special Olympics. “Just seeing those guys running around on the gym floor with sticks and pucks, it’s super fun to be a part of. They’re all great people, and we should actually learn–the whole world should learn–how to be as good of people as those guys are because they’re awesome.”
Meier’s collegiate career is officially over, and his presence on and off the ice at St. Cloud State will be missed.
“We’re just going miss having him at the rink every day,” said Josh Luedtke. “He’s such a great guy. He’s always laughing, always smiling. He’s someone that makes you want to go to the rink every day, and I’m going to miss seeing his face around the room–just the energy he brings and his work ethic. Everything he does at the rink is something that is going to be missed for sure.”
Meier leaves the helm of St. Cloud State with 17 goals and 45 assists for a total of 62 career points. This past season, he put up three goals and six assists for nine total points. He only took 16 penalties in his career and took only one in his final year.
Meier is planning on finishing up school and healing from an injury before making a move toward the pros.
“I was kinda dealing with an injury all year,” said Meier. “It’s my back and a sciatic nerve issue going down my leg. It was frustrating and it would never get healthy. We tried resting it for a bit there at the beginning of the year, and it got better, but it was never great. I was fortunate enough that I could play and push through it.”
Brendan Bushy, Micah Miller, Aidan Spellacy, Grant Cruikshank, Jaxon Castor and Jami Krannila have all made the leap to professional hockey; however, a timeline is in place for Meier to join the list of former Huskies turned pro.
“I didn’t want to start my professional career at 75%,” said Meier. “I decided to rest the remainder of the year. I’m going to see some doctors, do some rehab and really get this thing back to 100%. I will sign somewhere this summer–not sure where yet, but we’ll sign somewhere this summer, and that’s the plan.”
It’s not every day an athlete gets the opportunity to play for the team they grew up watching, let alone serve as captain for three consecutive seasons, but for Spencer Meier, his dream turned reality.
His reality turned legacy.