The Bismarck Bobcats have announced that goaltender Matt Grogan has committed to the University of Connecticut (Atlantic Hockey) beginning next season.
He's the 14th player who competed in January's NAHL Top Prospects Tournament to commit to a Division I program following the event.
Grogan is one of the top goalies this season in the NAHL with a regular-season record of 19-6-1, three shutouts, a 2.17 goals-against average and a .925 save percentage. Overall, Grogan’s numbers are among the top five in all NAHL statistical categories among goaltenders.
The native of Gilbert, Ariz., said UConn was one of many schools looking at him, but felt that he was best suited to be a Husky next year.
“They are a big-time athletic school and it was good fit academically for me personally,” said Grogan. “Also, it was a great situation for me to come in and compete for time in the net right away.”
Bismarck’s other goalie, David Bosner, has committed to play for the Air Force Academy next season, which makes two goalies from the Bobcats that have NCAA Division I commitments locked up before the playoffs.
“Boz is really good and he’s helped me not have bad days in practice,” said Grogan. “The both of us have pushed each other to our best every week. Hopefully, this will lead us to the ultimate prize as a team.”
With the decision of college out of the way, Grogan will shift his focus entirely on the team goal of winning a Robertson Cup.
“I just want to win a championship and start it off with two wins this weekend against the Blizzard,” Grogan continued. “Our goals are more important than my own and I’m really excited for the playoffs to start Friday.”
With Grogan’s commitment, the Bobcats have five active players committed to Division I schools: Jason Fabian (Air Force), Bosner (Air Force), John Clark (Army), Alex Gerke (UConn) and Grogan.
“We’re extremely happy for Matt, who has worked so hard this past season and was a key factor to our success,” said Bobcats head coach Byron Pool. “To have two great goalies in the same year has been a real pleasure for me as a coach.”
The 13 other NAHL players to commit to a school after the Top Prospects Tournament are: Fairbanks Ice Dogs defenseman Brandon Martell (Ohio State University) and goaltender Phil Cook (Minnesota State-Mankato); Marquette Rangers forward Chad Pietila (Northern Michigan University) and Reed Rushing (Bowling Green State University); Motor City Machine forward Ryan Misiak (Mercyhurst College); Springfield Jr. Blues forward Trent Frey (Mercyhurst); St. Louis Bandits defenseman Tyler Elbrecht (Minnesota State-Mankato) and goaltender Keith Kinkaid (Union); Topeka RoadRunners goaltender Bryce Merriam (RPI) and forward Steve Shafer (Canisius College); and Wenatchee Wild forwards Ducan McKellar (Bemidji State University) and Mitch Torrel (Air Force) and goaltender Mathieu Dugas (Bemidji State).