Coulee Region goalie Kivlenieks makes NCAA DI commitment
April 12, 2016
The Coulee Region Chill, proud members of the North American Hockey League (NAHL), are pleased to announce that goaltender Matiss Kivlenieks has committed to play NCAA Division I hockey at Minnesota State University-Mankato, who are members of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA).
Kivlenieks, 19, is completing his first season in the NAHL, which has been a very good one for the netminder from Riga, Latvia. Kivlenieks (6’2/190) finished the 2015-16 regular season with a 16-10-1 record with two shutouts. His 92.5% save percentage ranked 5th among NAHL goaltenders and his 2.41 goals against average ranked 12th.
Kivlenieks was named the NAHL Goaltender of the Month in February and was the runner-up for the award in January.
Kivlenieks also played in the 2016 NAHL Top Prospects Tournament during the month for the Midwest Division team, where he stopped 36 out of 39 shots in two games. Kivlenieks also represented his home country of Latvia earlier this season at the IIHF Division I Group A World Junior Championships, where he was named the top goaltender at the event as Latvia won the title.
"We are excited for Matiss announcing his NCAA Division I commitment to Mankato today. Matiss has worked hard for this and has had an unbelievable season for us. He has a bright future ahead of him and we look forward to watching where his hockey career goes,” said Coulee Region head coach AJ Degenhardt.
Kivlenieks is the 7th player from this year’s Coulee Region Chill who has made an NCAA commitment.