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Blue Jackets Recall Elvis Merzlikins, Assign Matiss Kivlenieks to Cleveland

Nov 26, 2019

The AHL’s Cleveland Monsters, top affiliate of the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets, announced Wednesday that the Blue Jackets recalled goaltender Elvis Merzlikins from the Monsters and assigned goaltender Matiss Kivlenieks to Cleveland. In six appearances for Columbus this season, Merzlikins went 0-2-3 with a 3.54 goals-against average (GAA) and a .890 save percentage (S%) and added a record of 1-1-0 with a 1.52 GAA and a .949 S% in two appearances for the Monsters. In nine appearances for Cleveland this year, Kivlenieks went 6-1-2 with a 2.51 GAA and a .903 S%.

 

A 6’3”, 181 lb. left-catching native of Riga, Latvia, Merzlikins, 25, was selected by Columbus in the third round (76th overall) of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft. Prior to his North American professional career, Merzlikins posted a record of 105-79-7 with a 2.68 GAA and a .920 S% in 210 appearances spanning parts of six seasons with HC Lugano in the Swiss National League from 2013-19. Merzlikins claimed the Jacques Plante Trophy as the NLA’s top goaltender in the 2015-16 and 2017-18 seasons.

 

A 6’2”, 184 lb., left-catching native of Riga, Latvia, Kivlenieks, 22, supplied a record of 24-26-7 with two shutouts, a 3.20 GAA and a .889 S% spanning parts of three seasons with Cleveland from 2017-present. In one USHL season with the Sioux City Musketeers in 2016-17, Kivlenieks claimed USHL Goaltender and Player of the Year honors and was named to the USHL’s First All-Star Team while leading the league in both goals-against average and save percentage, notching a record of 36-7-2 with five shutouts, a 1.85 GAA and a .932 S%.

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