Home Youth jerseys Matt Gleason has a lot of Minnesota around him at Colorado College

Matt Gleason has a lot of Minnesota around him at Colorado College

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The Christy brothers went on to play high school hockey for St. Thomas Academy, while Gleason played four seasons for Cretin-Derham Hall. But the bond of playing together on two peewee ‘A’ state championship teams remained, and when varsity teams began recruiting Gleason, one of the things that drove him to Colorado College were the Christy brothers. .

“Robert was on my team every year and we were great friends of the family,” Gleason said of Rob, a 20-year-old forward who signed up for Colorado College and plays in the juniors for Minnesota. Magicians of the North American Hockey League this season. “They both signed up (for the Tigers) before me. When the opportunity arose, it was like I couldn’t wait to jump on it and go out to school with these guys, some of them. my childhood buddies and Ray is on the team now.

“They were a bit out of place for me. They loved this school and when I got out (on a recruiting visit) and loved it, it was kind of a dream come true to play Division I hockey with the guys I have. grown up.

Gleason is tied for first on the team in goals (3) and assists (4) with Logan Will for Colorado College (2-4-2), which opens the NCHC game this weekend against the best. St. Cloud State (6-2). The Tigers face the Huskies at 8:30 p.m. Friday and 7 p.m. Saturday at the Ed Robson Arena (NCHC.tv).

Besides Gleason and Ray Christy, who is a second-year forward, there are six other Minnesotans on the Tigers roster: goaltender Jake Begley (Mahtomedi, So.), defensemen Chase Foley (Mendota Heights, So.) and Nate Schweitzer (Champlin, Fr.), forwards Brett Chorske (Edina, Fr.), Jackson Jutting (Savage, So.) and Connor Mayer (Champlin, Jr.). Even though they go to school in Colorado, the Minnesotans bond over some things.

“It’s awesome, a home away from home,” said Gleason. “Begley has roots in Chicago, so we don’t really like watching (Minnesota) games with him. But me, Chase Foley and Ray Christy put on all our Wild jerseys and go into a room to watch the Wild games. . Sometimes we even get the guys out of the state. (Goalkeeper Dominic) Bass came over the other night and cheered on the Wild. “

Matt Gleason (courtesy Colorado College)

Matt Gleason (courtesy Colorado College)

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Interesting 1st season

Gleason had an interesting start to his college career. Last season, he started the season playing junior hockey for the Chicago Steel in the United States Hockey League. Gleason had three goals, six points and six penalty minutes in 13 games for the Steel during the first weekend in January.

But due to injuries and illnesses, Colorado College head coach Mike Haviland asked Gleason to join the squad for the second half of the year. He has played the last seven games for the Tigers and scored his first college goal on Feb. 18 at Minnesota Duluth.

“It’s been a weird year with the COVID drop and the closures, but when Christmas rolled around I was talking to Coach Haviland and they said they had a spot for me,” said Gleason, who turned 20. years in September. “I thought this was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up, especially with (the pandemic and the NCAA) eligibility and not having to use (a season) of eligibility with games that I went in. I just thought that if I walked in last year, the feet would really be there for this year.

“I’m grateful for last year because I knew what to expect after playing seven college games last year and that included Denver, Omaha, UMD and St. Cloud. Live.”

St. Cloud State forward Chase Brand (27) steals the puck from Colorado College forward Matthew Gleason (15) and sends it to St. Cloud State forward Kevin Fitzgerald (28) in the second period on Saturday, February 20, 2021, at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center in St. Cloud.  (Jason Wachter / The Ice Rink Live)

St. Cloud State forward Chase Brand (27) steals the puck from Colorado College forward Matthew Gleason (15) and sends it to St. Cloud State forward Kevin Fitzgerald (28) in the second period on Saturday, February 20, 2021, at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center in St. Cloud. (Jason Wachter / The Rink Live)

Remember, in 2019-20, Gleason was playing high school hockey. He said there were some revealing moments in college games.

“I learned very quickly that it’s very fast,” he said of college hockey. “The jump from high school to junior hockey is a big jump. The jump from junior hockey to college hockey was a much bigger jump and I learned that. But it helped prepare me over the summer, knowing what to expect, knowing where I needed to get my game and what to improve.

“The speed and strength aspect is what I trained the most over the summer. I completely changed my strength training. It was tough on the body, but I can say it this year because I’m stronger with the puck. The other big problem I learned I had to work on my shot, my release and be able to hit a point. Guys get you up a lot faster (in college) than at previous levels. If you get the puck and a chance to score, you “I have to be able to take it out and be able to hit a point because the goalies are so much better.”

Gleason returned to the Twin Cities over the summer and trained with Colorado College teammates Foley and Christy at MAP South Hockey in Mendota Heights.

That work paid off for Gleason at the start of this season. He scored the game-winning goal on a penalty shot Oct. 22 on the road against 10th-ranked Boston College for Kris Mayotte’s first victory as Colorado College head coach. Last weekend in a series against Air Force, he scored two goals and three assists.

“He’s a constant competitor and he plays the game at a high pace with a lot of energy,” Mayotte said of the 5-foot-8, 170-pound Gleason. “He’s pretty fearless. He had a few chances at first and got bitten by a snake a bit, but lately they’ve started to take charge of him.

“I think his confidence continues to grow. He plays at a pace that makes him uncomfortable for other teams and is ready to do the little things. He’s tough to deal with because he’s talented, but he’s down. Comfortable with contact he’s good at reaching the net and he’s really good at finding the open spaces in the attacking zone to be effective He brings it to practice every day and sets the tone with his work ethic. “

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