Aspen native, Colorado College commit Mbereko cops weekly USHL goaltending honors
The USHL announced Tuesday that Lincoln Stars goalie Kaidan Mbereko is the USHL Goaltender of the Week.
Mbereko earned his first goaltender of the week award of his career after winning both of his appearances, including a 29-save shutout.
The Colorado College commit opened the weekend in a relief appearance win, stopping nine of the 11 shots he faced in the final 27 minutes of action. On Saturday night, Mbereko stopped all 29 shots sent his way by the Musketeers for his first shutout of the season.
The Aspen native is 12-7-1-2 this season with a 2.85 goals-against average and .906 save percentage. Both his GAA and save percentage are in the top 10 for league netminders this season.
“It’s pretty cool,” Mbereko said. “I didn’t really think of it as a possibility until you told me (Monday). It’s a huge honor, but anybody can be player of the week any week, so I just have to keep working.”
Despite wearing the largest pads and bearing the largest responsibility, Mbereko credited his teammates for his clean sheet against the Musketeers.
“[Saturday] was great all around,” Mbereko said. “Even our forwards stepped up and it was super encouraging, especially as our schedule is winding down and going into playoffs. If we keep it up, I think we’ll be one of the most dangerous teams out there, so it’s really exciting.”
While Mbereko himself may not mention his stellar play, the Stars coaching staff has had nothing but good things to say about their first-round pick (sixth overall) in this past summer’s USHL Phase II Draft.
“We know he’s going to give us a great effort every single time in the net,” Lincoln head coach Rocky Russo said. “He makes all the saves he’s supposed to make and a few we don’t expect. He’s a great teammate, and he’s passionate about his path. He wants to be a dominant goaltender at the junior level, the collegiate level and ultimately get drafted into the NHL.”
Mbereko is 6-0-1-1 in his last nine appearances with a 2.72 GAA and .912 SV% in that stretch.
Back home, Mbereko played for the Aspen Jr. Leafs and Rocky Mountain Snow Kings.
— With files from Lincoln Stars Staff
(March 2, 2022)