Dahlstrom leads the Wildcats from the goal

Dustin Anand

The ’Cats have been supported by first-year starter, redshirt freshman goaltender Mathias Dahlstrom.
Dahlstrom is a 22-year-old Swedish native from a small town called Smedjebacken, which has a population of 5,100 and is three hours from Stockholm, Sweden. Traveling roughly 4,000 miles overseas to the United States to play hockey, Dahlstrom is in his second year at Northern Michigan University as goaltender for the men’s Division I hockey organization.


Dahlstrom is a sophomore economics major with a minor in financing. He said he enjoys living in Marquette because it reminds him of home, he enjoys hunting and he enjoys hanging out with friends. Dahlstrom said he is not quite sure what direction he would like to pursue with his studies, but playing in the National Hockey League would be something he wouldn’t want to miss.

Dahlstrom said his passion and motivation for playing hockey was related to the support of his friends and family.

“When I grew up, I was always hanging out with my friends and one best friend still today,” Dahlstrom said. “He was all about hockey. I followed his steps and the four guys I hung out with. I remember in our neighborhood our fathers would always be making ice sheets outside and my parents always told me I would spend all my free time on the rink.”

Dahlstrom marked his debut performance in the United States in 2010-11 when he was recruited by the Kenai River Brown Bears, a Tier II Junior A ice hockey team in the North American Hockey League’s (NAHL) West Division in Soldotna, Alaska. At the age of 19, Dahlstrom established a 2.88 goals against average (GAA) and a .908 save percentage with an overall record of 17-11-4. Dahlstrom also recorded two shutouts and an assist.

Dahlstrom said his opportunity to further his career in hockey came from his coaches around his hometown.

“I moved away from home when I was 15,” Dahlstrom said. “I moved an hour north of home; it was a recruiting opportunity for a hockey program. When I was 12 years old to 15, I knew the goalie coach pretty well and I give him full credit for where I am now. I had a friend recruited to the U.S. and I wanted to try something new after high school. After talking to my coach, he set up the opportunity for me to play in Alaska.”

Following the completion of the 2010-11 season in Alaska, Dahlstrom had a connection from a hockey coach that was part of the United States Hockey League (USHL) Tier 1 junior ice hockey team, the Chicago Steel. Dahlstrom was asked to live with his coach for the upcoming season. Dahlstrom was drafted the year after playing for the Brown Bears in Alaska. Dahlstrom in 2011-12, completed 44 games with an overall record of 17-19-2, setting a 3.20 GAA and .906 save percentage for the season.

Dahlstrom said he enjoyed playing in Chicago and the big city suits him well.
“It was really good hockey,” Dahlstrom said. “It was a younger team that was fun to play with. I knew the goalie coach from Chicago from the year before and so I got drafted to the USHL. It sounded like a great deal. I like the city of Chicago. I like the aspect of living in a big city.”

A year after the 2012-13 season with Chicago, the transition from the USHL to the NCAA was in effect. NMU had seen Dahlstrom’s performance in the USHL and had brief consultations in regards to inquiring Dahlstrom’s skills as a goaltender.

Dahlstrom said this was a good opportunity to expand his potential of what he can provide to a Division I hockey program.
“Joe Shawhan, the assistant coach, called me and watched me a couple times,” Dahlstrom said. “ I got the offer in November and committed right after. This is my second year here and it’s similar to back home. I’ve never had an easier time adjusting to a team here than any other. The team is very close.”
Dahlstrom said he feels his team has great potential.

Dahlstrom also said he is looking forward to playing with the ’Cats for the next two seasons.
“I know we have the potential to be a really good team,” Dahlstrom said. “We need to find that consistency and do we need to do on the ice. I need to ask myself, ‘What I can do to make the team better?’ I want to work on everything.”

Playing his first 30 games of his NMU career thus far for the ’Cats, Dahlstrom has a 11-16-2 record with a 2.69 GAA and .910 save percentage, compared to Alumni goalie Jared Coreau, who averaged 3.71 GAA and a .909 save percentage in his debut season with the ’Cats. Coreau is now under contract with the Detroit Red Wings organization, Cordeu is currently playing in the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) with the Toledo Walleyes.

Dahlstrom takes the ice this weekend as the ’Cats contend against Bowling Green at 7:07pm Fri. Feb.28. at the Berry Events Center.
Head coach Walt Kyle said Dahlstrom is having an excellent season in his first year playing with NMU and has tremendous potential.

“He’s a great addition to the team,” Kyle said. “He has good leadership skills and works with the team well. He is a solid goaltender and is always ready to play. We felt good about Dahlstrom being a part of the team, he understands what needs to be accomplished and has been a great addition since Coreau’s departure.”