Bobcats' Grogan making Division I push
by By Matt Mackinder
Being 21 years old and in his final season of junior hockey, Matt Grogan knows how he wants this season to end.
“I want to go out a champion,” Grogan said. “For sure. No doubt.”
Grogan, a goaltender with the Bismarck Bobcats, has bounced around the junior ranks over the past five seasons, but has found a home in Bismarck, where he’s now on a championship-caliber team.
“To be honest, the NAHL isn’t exactly where I thought I’d end up, but it’s definitely worked out well for me here,” said Grogan, an Arizona native. “Years ago, I went to a tryout for the Central Texas Blackhawks, and that was interesting, but then I wound up in Indianapolis (playing Midget AAA) and in the Alberta Junior Hockey League, too.”
Grogan, who said his biggest asset is that he’s “a little goalie (5-foot-10, 170 pounds) that plays big and aggressive,” played for the Okotoks Oilers of the AJHL, but, after being traded, his hockey career was pretty much at a standstill until an old friend from Indianapolis gave him a call.
“My goalie coach in Indy (Jamie Morris) knew the coach in Bismarck (then Dane Litke) and [Morris] called me and told me to go check it out up in Bismarck,” remembered Grogan. “So I did, and like I said, it’s worked out well.”
Grogan and Air Force recruit David Bosner form a stellar 1-2 punch in the Bobcats’ net. Working alongside a future Division I college player has Grogan aspiring to get to that same level.
“I’ve talked to a few schools, even a couple at the Top Prospects Tournament (last month in Ann Arbor, Mich.),” Grogan admitted. “I think I put on a good show (in Ann Arbor) for the coaches and scouts that were there.
“In (the Central team’s) first game, we played the U.S. Under-18 Team and I let in six goals, but a couple college coaches said they still liked the way I played and so did I.
“Maybe I stopped some shots I shouldn’t have, but all those games were high intensity. We got better period-by-period and game-by-game and I think I played my best and couldn’t have stopped any more shots than I did.
“It was good that we were in first place when the teams were picked and our team got to send six guys, too.”
Also a good thing to see is the Bobcats and Grogan perched in the top spot in the Central Division.
“We’re just taking it one game at a time, but we think we’re the best team in that division and we want to be the team to go to the national tournament,” Grogan said. “It’s a tight division and it’s been up and down all year.”