University of North Dakota defenseman Tyler Kleven is a rugged, physical defenseman. The Fargo, North Dakota native is 6″4″ 214 pounds and is a physical force to be reckoned with. He’s been keeping opposition forwards on their toes for parts of two seasons. He also can add offensive production, in 14 games he’s scored (3g-2a–5pts). He’s also a plus-four.
Last night, in the waning minutes of the third period, Kleven racked up 15 minutes in penalties. His crime, cross-checking Gophers forward Ben Meyers in the head during a scrum in the UND crease. If you haven’t seen the hit in question, you can watch the video embedded in the tweet below. Yes, this was a blatant cross-check to Meyer’s head. Not a hard call for the on-ice officials to make. You can’t do that. Especially, if you’re chasing a game and trying to tie it up.
After racking 15 more minutes in penalties, Kleven is now the NCAA leader in penalty minutes with 50. Moreover, the Fighting are ranked ninth in penalty minutes with 197.
Unfortunately, that was Kleven’s second game misconduct of the season, the next one will cause him to serve a one-game suspension.
After the game, UND head coach Bard Berry wasn’t happy with his team’s lack of discipline.
“When you’re delivering a check, you have to be cognizant of being around the boards and open ice hits with elbows and you have to be in control,” Berry said. “There’s no excuse for the two-handed cross-checks.”
With two game misconducts in the bank, does Kleven have to change the way he plays the game?
“That’s something that we’re going to talk about, and it will be an adjustment on how he has to play,” Berry said. “He’s a physical player that brings an element. There’s a balance on getting to the edge. You can’t be five feet back from the edge, and you can’t be over the edge. He’s got to play within that area where he’s engaged, but not egregious.”
— Pesky Sickos (@PeskySickos) November 27, 2021