Given annually to the top goalie in men's NCAA Division I hockey, University of Minnesota Golden Gophers starting goaltender and Kindersley's own Justen Close is still in the running for the Mike Richter Award after being named as one of nine semi-finalists for the trophy yesterday.

The former Kindersley Jr Klippers goalie was named as the SJHL's top goaltender two times in a row between 2017-2019, and fast forward about five years later, "The Closer" as his team calls him could be on the verge of claiming another top goaltender award at the next level.

According to the Golden Gophers release, Close currently leads the Big Ten Conference with a 2.09 goals against average, has five shutouts on the year, and a .923 save percentage to place him second in the Big Ten in that category.

It's been over a year since Close officially took over the net for the Golden Gophers. In that time he has collected eight shutouts total, good for 10th-most in the program's history, across only 45 career starts as good patience really has paid off for the local Senior in college. 

Close and the Golden Gophers are back in action tomorrow beginning a road series against Penn State.

The University of Minnesota has been one of the top ranked teams all year long, and will look to finish out the last few weeks strong as they attempt to make the NCAA Frozen Four in Tampa, Florida this April.