The Ballad of Nick Klytta

This weekend senior hockey player Nick Klytta tied up his skates for one last hoorah. Klytta has been playing hockey for thirteen years of his 18 year-old life. This past season he played for the Hawks, an NIHL (Northern Illinois Hockey League) team. Nonetheless, it is possible that he will never take the ice again, despite an opportunity to play for Western Illinois University club hockey team.

Klytta and company took the ice early Saturday morning to compete in the Rock n’ Roll Tournament in Cleveland, Ohio. They got off to a stellar start winning three in a row with Klytta recording three goals and three assists. 

Late in the third period of the third game, Klytta was punched by a frustrated member of the opposing team. Klytta responded and broke the player’s nose. He was suspended for game four, and the Hawks struggled without its star player, losing the match. Luckily the tourney was double elimination and Klytta and company would still play in the championship.

“I knew that I had to go out with a bang, more so a championship,” Klytta said of his pre-game thoughts.  Klytta was awarded tourney MVP for his outstanding six goals and three assists.

After the game, Klytta said, “I was on cloud nine.  Then I caught the over time of the USA vs. Canada gold medal game.”

Klytta is still undecided on whether he will play hockey at the next level. He is unsure on if he can balance the college work load and playing hockey, but also unsure of if he can live without the game.