Cover Athlete finishes 16U campaign; looks to the future

The 2020-21 season came to a close for our Cover Athlete of the Year, as C.J. Kier finished his 16U season in net for NorthStar Christian Academy. The ‘04 goaltender posted a 21-7-0 record for the Knights, with an impressive .923 save percentage and 2.11 goals-against average. 

NorthStar finished the season with a 34-19-0 record, and ranked 45th among 16U and 15U teams on MyHockeyRankings. The Knights were a perfect 13-0-0 during the NAPHL regular season, and then went 5-0 in the postseason through pool play and and the first two rounds of playoffs. They would come just shy of a perfect NAPHL season though, as Florida Alliance defeated the Knights 5-2 in the league championship. 

“Unfortunately, we fell short of the Dixon Cup championship, but as a team we achieved much more than a championship,” said Kier. “All the boys on this team love each other and aren’t afraid to put their bodies on the line for a win.”

In just its third year, NorthStar is an up-and-coming program based out of Alexandria, Minnesota, quickly becoming a popular prep academy in the Midwest. In that short time, two players have gone onto the United States Hockey League (USHL) and seven have appeared in the North American Hockey League (NAHL). 

As an ‘04, Kier is eligible for the upcoming junior league drafts this summer. The USHL Phase-II Draft is scheduled for May 27th, and the NAHL Draft will be held on July 14th. While there have been conversations of playing at the next level and it certainly remains a goal for him, Kier said the focus is on getting better every day. 

“This summer, I plan to return home to work with my goalie coaches, Cam Clemenson and Mountain High Hockey,” said Kier. “I also plan to attend goaltending camps across the country and a few junior camps. Next season, I plan to return to NorthStar to be on the 18U prep team and have an even better season, but more importantly, grow in my faith with my new teammates.”

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