This story originally appeared at USPHL.com.
He’s been leading the National Collegiate Development Conference in scoring this year almost from start to near finish. So, it should come as no surprise that NCAA Division I programs would take interest in second-year NCDC veteran Patriks Marcinkevics.
Earlier this week, Marcinkevics committed to Long Island University, which was a new program added during the 2020-21 season. Steadily improving as the new kids on the block, it’s no surprise the LIU Sharks would want to add some high-octane offense into their tank for what is an even brighter future. Marcinkevics has scored 75 points in 41 games through Feb. 19.
#NCDC #SSKShowcase: Patriks Marcinkevics talked after the @NJHitmen’s first of two wins about that bounceback win and his recent @NCAAIceHockey commitment to @LIUMHockey. #USPHLCommitments @The_DanKShow pic.twitter.com/aL6a7VIls2— USPHL (@USPHL) February 19, 2022
“[LIU] has been watching me since October. We started talking three weeks ago,” said Marcinkevics, who is joined by his twin brother Dominiks on the roster. “They like my skill and offensive game, and my 200 foot game. They’re sure that I’m the right guy, they offered me and I made my decision.
“I’m really excited to move on and play with skilled guys, and show myself there,” added the 2001-born native of Riga, Latvia.
Marcinkevics has only missed the scoresheet in six of 41 games, and out of 35 contests in which he scored points, 25 have been multi-point efforts.
This ability to create offense, whether by feeds or outright bending goal twine, was honed in his home country in the SK Riga organization. There, he attracted the attention of Latvia’s governing body of hockey and found himself representing his home country at the 16U and 17U levels before, in 2017-18, playing in the World Junior Under-18 Championships Division 1A Tournament.
He helped Latvia win Gold that year and joined the Latvia National 18U team again in 2018-19 when they played in the top World Under-18 group with the likes of Canada, U.S. et al. That same year, he played in the World Junior (Under-20) Championships Division 1A tournament with Latvia.
From there, it was on to North American hockey. He spent his first season stateside with the Islanders Hockey Club NCDC team and was a top player in that first season, as well. After one year away from the USPHL, the Hitmen and Marcinkevics struck the match made in junior hockey heaven.
“The [Hitmen] coaches have been working since the beginning of the season to get me there [to the NCAA Division I level], so a huge ‘Thanks’ for them,” said Marcinkevics. “I think I’ve developed a little more of a defensive zone area. I have offense, so they teach me how to play defense now.”
The United States Premier Hockey League congratulates Patriks Marcinkevics, his family, the Jersey Hitmen and Long Island University for his commitment.