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Gallery: Warriors top Hawkeyes

Jacob Bales of the Waldorf College men's hockey team waits for a face-off against Iowa's Alex Martin. — Micah Bader/Albert Lea Tribune

Jacob Bales of the Waldorf College men’s hockey team waits for a face-off against Iowa’s Alex Martin. — Micah Bader/Albert Lea Tribune

With a pair of one-goal wins, the Waldorf men’s hockey team swept Iowa.

The Warriors beat the Hawkeyes 4-3 Friday in overtime and followed with a 2-1 win Saturday night at Roy Nystrom Arena.

“You can just hope you’re on the better side of those close games, and that later in the year playing in them has made you better,” said Waldorf coach Brett Shelanski. “It’s always a work in progress, but we work hard every day, and the guys respond to our teaching and coaching. They buy in, and that’s all you can ask for.”

Waldorf (3-1 overall) is on a three-game winning streak and outscored its two opponents — North Dakota State and Iowa — by a combined score of 16-9. That’s been with significant contributions from underclassmen like freshman goalie Ronald Paulson and sophomore forward Dalton Kaake.

“As a group, we’re learning what it takes to win at this level,” Shelanski said. “I think for the freshmen that’s important.”

Paulson had to deal with more shots on goal than Iowa goalie Alex Wisnousky in both games. However, Paulson managed a better save percentage with 93 percent on Friday and 97 on Saturday.

“He’s had a good start to the season, and he’s already starting to prove that he’s a guy we can rely on,” Shelanski said of Paulson. “We’re pleased with his play.”

Kaake was lethal with the puck in Friday’s game. He scored Waldorf’s first two goals and was part of the line that scored the game-winner in overtime. Kaake and freshman Matt Liggett were in on the assist, and sophomore Lane Sanderson found the net. Also scoring for the Warriors on Friday was Reed Loucks on a pass from Jeff Bartel.

On Saturday, Waldorf jumped out to a 2-0 lead. Drew Soderberg lit the lamp in the first period on a line from Brent Putney and C.J. Weber. Alex Fleming extended the Warriors’ lead with a goal in the second period on a pass from Reed Loucks. Iowa fought back with a goal by Joey Wheeler, but both teams posted a shutout in the third, and Waldorf held on.

Waldorf did not play Iowa last year. However, the two teams met in 2012 at Iowa City, Iowa, and the Warriors swept the Hawkeyes on that occasion as well: 8-2 and 5-1.

Shelanski is in his fourth season as head coach at Waldorf, a college in Forest City.

“It’s a great place to be,” he said. “We’ve had some success, the resources are in place for us and Albert Lea’s been a great fit for us. We really like it here.”

Next, Waldorf will play at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Michigan Tech. The Warriors’ next game at Roy Nystrom Arena will be at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 3 against Wisconsin-Oshkosh.

Statistics for both games are in the Scoreboard: Sept. 20 post.