As the Lakers gear up for a playoff run for a Minnesota Championship heading into January, one of their own is gearing up for a run at a World Junior Hockey Championship in Italy for the U-20 World Junior Championships. Lakers' goaltender, Matiss Kivlenieks, is leading the charge for the Latvia squad, his home country. The team is loaded with talent and is currently 2-1 after 3 games played. They are heading into their 4th game Friday, December 19, 2014 versus team Italy at 1:30PM Central Standard Time. They play again on Saturday, January 20, 2014 at 6:30AM CST.
Matiss has started all 3 games and is 2-1 with a 2.05 G.A.A and is second in goaltender statistics in the tournament. His lone defeat came against Belarus by a score of 2-1 where he stopped 30 of 32 shots he faced (IIHF Goaltender Stats).
To access the live games: See the official IIHF World Championship link U-20 World Junior Championships. Click on the link. Scroll down to the right of the page and click “Live” web TV to view the game live at the scheduled time. All games are webcast for FREE.
The Lakers and the MnJHL are proud to support this young man and wish him well.
It has been a tough 7 days for the Forest Lake Lakers who have been bitten by two bugs. One being the flu bug and the other being the injury bug. The team has suffered three straight losses and are literally limping into the Showcase. Over the last week, the team has lost the services of veteran defensemen, Jessee Game, who is out for an extended period of time due to a broken collar bone. He will require treatment but not surgery. Further depleting the defense core, the team will also be without Nikita Diakonov, who is suffering from a lower body injury. Captain Niko Pikkula who is week to week.
To shore up the blueline and ease the pressure on an overloaded unit, the Lakers have acquired two defensemen. One will arrive this weekend via a trade and another who will arrive on January 1, 2015. “We needed to go out and make a few moves to help this hockey club now while our veterans get healthy for a stretch run. We see one of the defensemen we acquired to step in as a guy who can play on special teams and log a ton of key minutes inside our top 4. The timing is excellent. Every team makes the playoffs, so we are playing for positioning”, said Lakers Head Coach Dennis Canfield.
In addition to the defensemen, the Lakers acquired '94 veteran forward, C.J Miller, from Colorado via a trade with Hudson earlier this week. Miller was property of the Crusaders and was playing in the WSHL before joining the Lakers. Miller is a versatile forward and brings some leadership to the front end of a young group of forwards. “We are happy to have CJ join us. He adds depth and a physical "grind-it-out" style, which is something we will call on heavily as the season wears on”.
The Lakers head to the Wisconsin Dells this weekend for the MnJHL Showcase followed by a much needed Christmas break. We return December 31st 7 PM for Family Night when we play Hamline University JV.
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