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by Ken Schott

Parting Schotts

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Grosenick to sign with San Jose Sharks (updates with Bennett quotes)

Union goalie Troy Grosenick will be signing with the San Jose Sharks.

The team is expected to announce the signing Monday.

“We’re happy for Troy,” Union coach Rick Bennett said. “It’s more gratifying to know that he’s going to finish is degree. He’s one of the best student-athletes at Union College hockey. Finishing his degree, outside of hockey, is something invaluable.”

It marks the third straight year that the Dutchmen have lost a player to the pros before completing their college eligibility. Junior forward Jeremy Welsh signed with the Carolina Hurricanes hours after the Dutchmen lost to Ferris State in the Frozen Four semifinals last year. The previous year, sophomore Keith Kinkaid signed with the New Jersey Devils shortly after Union’s season ended with a loss to Minnesota Duluth in the NCAA hockey tournament East Regional.

Grosenick’s departure will pave the way for sophomore and Niskayuna native Colin Stevens to be the Dutchmen’s No. 1 goalie next season. Stevens has played in 23 career games and has a 9-5-4 record with a 1.96 goals-against average, a .921 save percentage and three shutouts. Those three shutouts came this season, including one in the 4-0 victory over Clarkson March 2 that clinched an ECACH tournament first-round bye for the Dutchmen the final night of the regular season.

“We all feel confident in Colin,” Bennett said. “He’s worked hard for two years. He bided his time. When he’s gone in, he’s done an excellent job. I don’t expect anything less, and neither should he.”

However, sophomore and third-string goalie Dillon Pieri has appeared in just one game during his two seasons with Union, so Bennett will have to recruit a third goalie for next season. Goalie recruit Joe Young, who plays for the Boston Junior Bruins, isn’t expected to come to Union until the 2014-15 season.

“We’re going to be actively looking for a goaltender as we speak,” Bennett said.

The 23-year-old Grosenick played in 71 career games, and had a 39-16-9 record with a 1.89 goals-against average, a .930 save percentage and seven shutouts.

Grosenick barely played his freshman year in 2010-11. Sitting behind sophomore Keith Kinkaid and senior Corey Milan, Grosenick made three appearances, but only one was a start, and was 0-0-1 with a 2.12 goals-against average.

After Kinkaid signed with the Devils, Grosenick took the No. 1 job and skated off with it last season. He went 22-6-3 with a 1.65 GAA, a .936 save percentage and five shutouts. He was named the Ken Dryden Award winner as ECACH goalie of the year after posting a 11-3-1 record with a 1.60 GAA, a .940 save percentage and four shutouts.

Grosenick was named a Hobey Baker Award top-10 finalist, the first Dutchmen player to achieve that honor. He was also a first-team All-America.

Grosenick didn’t have the same type of numbers this season. Still, he went 17-10-5 with a 2.12 GAA, a .926 save percentage and two shutouts. He played his best hockey during Union’s late-season seven-game winning streak. He went 6-0 with a 1.03 GAA, .966 save percentage and one shutout. Grosenick was named the ECACH tournament’s Most Outstanding Player after stopping 66 of 67 shots against Yale and Brown.

It’s the second time the Sharks have signed a Union player before their eligibility was up. Sophomore center T.J. Fox joined the Sharks after the 2006-07 season.

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