By Shane Frederick
Free Press Staff Writer
The first hockey player from Mankato to play for the Minnesota State men’s hockey team will not finish his playing career with the Mavericks.
Corey Leivermann, the former Mankato West High School standout, has decided to leave the team, according to an MSU press release issued Friday night. Leivermann confirmed in a text message that he plans to transfer to Gustavus Adolphus.
“We appreciate and recognize Corey’s contribution’s to Maverick Hockey during the past two and a half years,” MSU coach Mike Hastings said in the press release. “We wish him the best as he moves forward in his future endeavors.”
Leivermann, a junior, played just two games for the Mavericks this season — the first two of the year at Alabama Huntsville — before losing a spot among the team’s top 12 forwards.
In recent weeks he was skating as the team’s eighth defenseman in practice, a sign that it might have taken an emergency for him to get back into the lineup.
A season ago, Leivermann played in a career-high 21 games and scored one goal. As a freshman, he played in 19 games, scoring three goals — including the Mavericks’ first that season — and assisting on four others.
Leivermann led Mankato West to the state tournament as a senior in 2008 and ranked among the state’s top five scorers that season. It was in the middle of that season that he committed to play for his hometown college team.
He played two seasons of junior hockey in Fargo, N.D., with the Force of the United States Hockey League before arriving at Minnesota State. At Fargo, he was a teammate of current MSU players Matt Leitner and Chase Grant.
By transferring to Gustavus, a Division III school, Leivermann will be eligible to play once he’s enrolled. The Gusties have a game on Friday, but he said he can’t play until after Jan. 7. Gustavus will travel to St. John’s on Jan. 11. Leivermann has a year and a half of eligibility remaining.
Minnesota State is on the road this weekend at the UConn Hockey Classic in Storrs, Conn.