Aspen native, Colorado College netminder Mbereko pins down monthly NCHC honors
Colorado College freshman Kaidan Mbereko earned his second consecutive NCHC Goaltender of the Month award after posting a 3-1-0 record in December.
Mbereko, from Aspen, continued his stellar play for the Tigers in December, starting four of their six games. He missed the final two games of the month against Princeton due to being on the Team USA roster for the 2023 World Junior Championship in Canada.
He recorded shutouts in half of his starts last month, while ranking second in the NCHC in December with a .940 save percentage. His 31.25 saves per game were tops in the NCHC during the month, while his 125 total saves were second. Mbereko’s 2.00 goals-against average ranked third in the NCHC in December.
Mbereko began December with a 39-save shutout in a 3-0 victory at Minnesota Duluth on Dec. 2. He then made 22 saves in the series finale at UMD in a loss. A weekend later, the draft-eligible netminder compiled 64 saves to backstop CC to a home sweep of Omaha. After making 24 stops in a 6-4 win in the series opener, Mbereko tightened things up with a career-high 40 saves in a 1-0 shutout win over the Mavericks.
On the season, Mbereko improved to 6-6-1, while his .927 save percentage on the year is second in the NCHC and ties for fourth nationally. His three whitewashes this season lead all NCHC netminders, while his 2.26 GAA is fourth in the conference. He is the first CC freshman netminder to post three shutouts in one season since Joe Howe during the 2009-10 campaign.
Mbereko is now eligible for Hockey Commissioners’ Association (HCA) National Goaltender of the Month. The HCA November national honors are expected to be announced on Jan. 4.
During his youth hockey days in Colorado, Mbereko played for the Aspen Leafs and Rocky Mountain Snow Kings.
Photo/Casey B. Gibson
(January 3, 2023)