Tyler Kleven suspended for series finale against Miami after change to Friday's box score

The UND defenseman will miss Saturday's contest after his third game misconduct of the season.

UND's Tyler Kleven has words for Denver players as he heads to the penalty box in a game last season at Ralph Engelstad Arena.
Eric Hylden / Grand Forks Herald

OXFORD, Ohio — UND defenseman Tyler Kleven has been suspended for tonight's series finale against Miami after a rare, if not unprecedented, move by the National Collegiate Hockey Conference.

On Saturday afternoon, the NCHC changed the official box score of Friday night's UND-Miami game to add a game misconduct to Tyler Kleven's cross-checking major penalty with 18 seconds left in the third period.

Because it's Kleven's third game misconduct of the season, it triggers an automatic one-game suspension.

Kleven sit out tonight's game. He will be eligible to return when UND next plays on Feb. 10 at Denver.

The official box score, which was signed by referees Tom Sterns and Sterling Egan after the game Friday, listed only a standalone major to Kleven.


The NCHC said: "Following video review and discussion with the on-ice and off-ice officials working the North Dakota at Miami game last night, Friday, Jan. 27, the NCHC has determined that a game misconduct penalty was inadvertently not recorded on the official score sheet approved by game officials. In consultation with the NCAA, the Conference has corrected the penalty retroactively, which was the initial intent of the call on the ice."

The NCAA rulebook does not specifically address whether box scores are allowed to be changed after they're signed by the referees.

It is believed that the NCHC, which began play in 2013-14, has never added a penalty to a signed box score.

Although the NCHC usually has supervisors of officials present at league games, there was not one in Oxford on Friday.

The league also said in a statement: "The NCHC takes its responsibility to provide quality officiating and associated communication seriously. Personnel matters involving on-ice officials and/or conference staff will be addressed internally."

UND deputy athletic director Erik Martinson, a member of the NCAA Ice Hockey Rules Committee, traveled with the team to Oxford.

When reached by the Herald for comment, Martinson issued a joint statement with athletic director Bill Chaves.

The statement said: "As of this afternoon, we were made aware that Tyler Kleven will not be playing in tonight’s contest due to the NCHC adding a game misconduct penalty back into last night’s official box score which triggers the auto suspension under the misconduct policy. We have spoken to Brad Berry and he is focused on tonight’s game. We plan to continue our conversations with the NCHC for this precedent-setting decision after the game."


UND was informed of the decision at 1:30 p.m., according to Martinson.

Kleven played a season-high 26:24 on Friday night. It marked the third-most minutes of any UND player this season. He scored a goal and added an assist, while being named the second star of the game.

For the season, Kleven is UND's fifth-leading scorer with six goals and 13 points in 24 games.

The 6-foot-5, 213-pound blue liner from Fargo leads UND with 67 penalty minutes. He has already been suspended by the NCHC once this month.

On Jan. 13, Kleven was called for a contact-to-the-head major against Western Michigan and was suspended for the series finale. UND lost 7-6 without him.

Last season, Kleven had to serve a one-game suspension for getting three game misconducts.

The third one occurred in the NCHC quarterfinals against Colorado College. He was suspended for the NCHC semifinal game against Western Michigan. UND lost 4-2.

The Fighting Hawks are expected to play significantly shorthanded in the series finale.


UND forwards Gavin Hain and Jake Schmaltz both left the game with apparent upper-body injuries. Defenseman Luke Bast appeared hobbled after the game and is in question for the series finale, too.

If all of them are out, UND will be unable to fill out a full lineup.

Schlossman has covered college hockey for the Grand Forks Herald since 2005. He has been recognized by the Associated Press Sports Editors as the top beat writer for the Herald's circulation division four times and the North Dakota sportswriter of the year once. He resides in Grand Forks. Reach him at
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