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Northern Star

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

Lifeless NIU Hockey swept by Waldorf

Huskies lose playoff tiebreaker
Courtesy NIU Hockey
Junior forward Jay Kliment battles for the puck with a Jamestown defender during NIU Hockey’s game against the University of Jamestown on Oct. 14. The Huskies remain winless after falling to Waldorf University by a final score of 5-2 on Saturday. (Courtesy of NIU Hockey)

ALBERT LEA – Take the ice with excitement, give up goals, play from behind, leave the arena dejected about another loss.

That game day cycle continued for NIU Hockey (0-10-2, 0-6 MCH) Saturday, as the team fell to the Waldorf University Warriors (2-8-2, 2-4 MCH) by a final score of 5-2. 

The Huskies entered the weekend optimistic in breaking their now 12-game losing streak against a Warriors team that was also winless entering the weekend, but NIU left Albert Lea still in search of victory. 

“Yeah, it hurts,” junior defenseman Keaton Peters said. “We wanted to come out of here with at least one win. We really just didn’t show up as a group. We’re really just disappointed in our play, and we know that we can play a lot better and have to play a lot better.”


The trio of freshman forward Micah Maldonado, junior forward Jay Kliment and graduate student forward Rodahn Evans was NIU’s best line Saturday, holding possession in the Waldorf zone and accounting for the Huskies’ lone tally – from Kliment – until Peters’  goal in the last minute of the game. 

With the team struggling in multiple aspects, head coach Brad Stoffers said seeing one of his forward lines click was refreshing.

“They were first to pucks, moving it quick without thinking too much,” Stoffers said. “Supporting each other, talking so that they can support each other and know where the puck is going to move it fast.”

The Huskies tinkered with some of their systems for Saturday’s game, and Kliment said those changes helped his line spend a lot of time in the offensive zone and get scoring chances. 

“We were flying,” Kliment said. “We switched up a couple of things in our game plan, and I think it was working. We got one in the second (period), and we had many chances, but we couldn’t bury another.”

Kliment has now doubled his goal total from last year through just 12 games, sitting at 4 goals. 


Responding to adversity has been a point of emphasis for the Huskies this season, with a focus on taking games shift by shift. 

In a game that was a major disappointment for the Huskies, the response after getting scored on was a positive Peters looked to as something to build on. 

“I think after every goal this game, we had a great shift to follow up,” Peters said. “That’s a really good positive we can take from this game. I know it’s two tough losses, but it’s something we did improve on.”

Kliment said the impact of winning the shift after goals is big for the momentum swings of the game. 

“If we score, we got to keep it going – even more intensity,” Kliment said. “If we get scored on, we got to make that leap and increase the intensity and try to equalize.”


Waldorf entered the weekend with the same winless record as NIU. With two wins in the teams’ only meetings this season, the Warriors now hold the sixth and final MCH playoff position. 

Peters stressed the importance of finding a way to win games with the head-to-head tiebreaker with Waldorf now gone. 

“It’s (losing to Waldorf) a major impact,” Peters said. “We have to just find ourselves as a team and just get back to basics and try to get back on track here. Pull a few (wins) out to see where it goes and try to get the momentum back to the season.”

The Huskies’ next shot at their first win comes at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Canlan Ice Sports in West Dundee when Midland University rolls into town. 

The game will be streamed on the NIU Hockey YouTube channel. 

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