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Waldorf cruises past No. 7 DePaul, evens series

Waldorf Warriors LogoBy: Waldorf Sports Information Director

ALBERT LEA, Minnesota – After losing to No. 7 DePaul University in the closing seconds a day earlier, the Waldorf University hockey team evened the series by cruising to an 8-3 victory on Sunday.

Waldorf (5-1) entered the match No. 8 in the latest American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) Division II Central Region poll. Twelve Warriors recorded at least a point in their win over the No. 7 Blue Demons (4-2).

“We played with a lot of energy and intensity,” Waldorf coach Brett Shelanski said. “We showed a willingness to win battles in the corners and in front of the net. That effort helped us create scoring chances, and we finished those chances.”

Freshman Eric Long provided two goals for the Warriors. Waldorf also received goals from seniors Reed LoucksJake Taylor, juniors Matthew LiggettDrew Soderberg, sophomore Ryan Veillet and freshman Tyler Wilson.

Liggett, Wilson and junior Jeffrey Bartel dished out two assists apiece.

Mickey Di Pietro, Brendan O’Leary and Joseph Jablonski each contributed goals for the Blue Demons. Kevin Zajac tallied three assists.

Junior Dustin Stevens served as the Waldorf goalkeeper and rejected 18 of the 21 shots he faced.

DePaul’s John Cassata faced 28 shots and collected 20 saves.

The Warriors outshot the Blue Demons by a 28-21 margin.

Waldorf was able to build on its lead quickly after finding the back of the net on three power-play opportunities.

“Our power play was active as far as moving to support and getting open for each other,” Shelanski said. “We moved the puck well, and the guys were able to capitalize on three power plays.”

Jablonski put DePaul on the board with a power-play goal in the second minute of the opening period. Zajac was credited with the assist. Veillet evened the score at 1-all during the fourth minute of the first period after capitalizing off passes from Liggett and Wilson. Wilson added a power-play score 12 minutes into the first period off a deflection, following passes from Liggett and senior Jess Engquist. During the 15th minute of the first period, Taylor took a pass from Wilson and fired a goal to give Waldorf a 3-1 lead. On a power-play opportunity, Di Pietro cut DePaul’s deficit to a one-goal margin 16 minutes into the first period with Daniel Maday and Zajac on the assists.

Long gave the Warriors a 4-2 lead during the ninth minute of the second period after netting a pass from junior Travis Park. Liggett connected for a power-play goal ten minutes into the second period off a pass from senior Spencer Johnson. With less than two minutes remaining in the second period, the Warriors expanded their lead to a 6-2 cushion as Loucks delivered a power-play goal with Bartel on the assist.

Soderberg provided a short-handed goal 10 minutes into the third period after utilizing a pass from Loucks. O’Leary notched a power-play goal during the 12th minute of the third period after taking advantage of passes from Zajac and Di Pietro. During the 13th minute of the third period, Long found the back of the net off passes from Bartel and senior Jacob Bales.

Waldorf holds a 2-0 record in Northern Collegiate Hockey League (NCHL) play and face off with No. 14 University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh (3-4, 2-2) for a weekend conference series at Albert Lea City Arena. The two teams open with a Friday 7:30 p.m. matchup and finish the series with a Saturday 2 p.m. start time.