April 18, 2012 - SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH – Oxford's Kyle Geiger never experienced the joys of winning a title while playing hockey at Oxford High School.
CMU roller hockey player Kyle Geiger, of Oxford, just won a national championship in Utah.
Photos by Dan Shriner. (click for larger version)
He made up for it this past week when his Central Michigan University roller hockey team won the Division II national championship at the National Collegiate Roller Hockey Championships held at the former Olympic Oval in Kearns, Utah, outside of Salt Lake City.
"This is a really great feeling," Kyle said, shortly after winning the title with an 8-0 victory over the University of Pittsburgh.
Geiger played two years (2007 and 2008) for Oxford when hockey was still a club sport. He played goalie but later moved to defense.
Geiger graduated from OHS in 2008. His parents, Kurt and Claudia, live in Waterstone.
Growing up, Geiger played travel ice hockey, mostly for the Rochester Rattlers in Little Caesar's leagues. He also played some roller hockey at that time.
Roller hockey is a variation of ice hockey. Players wear inline skates and the rules are slightly different.
There are no offsides or icing and the teams play four skaters to a side with a goalie.
Roller hockey emphasizes puck control and passing. Teams often will use the length of the floor to make passes and plays and it is an exciting game to watch.
Geiger said he enjoyed playing both games as a youngster and at CMU he was able to join the roller hockey team, which is considered a club sport.
Geiger attended Oakland Community College after graduating from Oxford before transferring to CMU, where he will graduate later this year with a degree in marketing.
His CMU team competed in the Division II pairings in the collegiate championships. In order to qualify, the Chippewas had to compete throughout the season for placing based on its record and win in district competition.
The 16 best teams in Division II then competed for the national title during five days of competition in Kearns, Utah. There also were 56 teams competing in Division I, Division II, Division B and Junior College classifications.
Central Michigan easily defeated the University of Pittsburgh, 8-0, to claim the title.
Some other schools in the Division II bracket were Kansas State, University of Colorado, University of Florida, Western Michigan, Texas State, California at Irvine and Kenesaw State.
Former Leader Editor Dan Shriner will cover Wildcat football this season.