UMass Lowell nets goaltender Grigals – Lowell Sun
LOWELL — A talented goaltender from Latvia will vie for the No. 1 goaltending job next season at UMass Lowell.
Head coach Norm Bazin said Friday that Gustavs Grigals, who has 61 games of Division 1 college experience, is transferring to UML.
Grigals, a 6-foot-2, 189-pound junior, went 25-26-6 with a 2.59 goals against average and .912 save percentage in three seasons at Alaska Fairbanks. Grigals entered the NCAA transfer portal after the season.
“He’s got experience and he’s played a lot of hockey,” Bazin said. “He’s played a lot on the road and he was a captain, which tells you a lot.”
Senior Owen Savory had a terrific season for the River Hawks this past season, going 20-7-2 with five shutouts, but he’s looking to sign a pro contract.
Grigals will compete for playing time next season with sophomore Henry Welsch, who led UML to the Hockey East championship game as a sophomore, and freshman Edvard Nordlund, who didn’t see any action as a rookie.
How does Bazin feel about his goaltending situation for the 2022-23 season?
“As good as you could feel,” he said. “Henry is a good goalie. I thought Eddie made some good strides. And he’s (Gringals) an experienced goalie. It’s a good group to work with.”
Grigals went 13-15-2 this past season with a 2.41 goals against average and .919 save percentage. He was terrific in his last 11 games, going 8-2-1 and stopping 290 of 313 shots for a .927 save %.
He posted two shutouts, blanking RPI on a 27-save effort at home and shutting out Vermont with a 28-save gem in Burlington, Vt.
He also made 36 saves to lead Fairbanks to a 3-2 upset victory over Minnesota before 8,083 fans in Minneapolis, a team which has advanced to the Frozen Four. He made 43 saves to tie Denver, 4-4, and the Pioneers are also in the Frozen Four.
Grigals also defeated Hockey East schools Maine and Vermont this past season.
In Bazin’s 11 seasons as head coach, UMass Lowell has featured outstanding goalies like Connor Hellebuyck, Kevin Boyle, Tyler Wall and Savory.
Grigals is the second Fairbanks player headed to UMass Lowell. Sophomore forward Filip Svensson will also transfer and don a River Hawks jersey. The 6-foot-4 Sweden native led Fairbanks with 25 points in 34 games.
Bazin also confirmed that junior defenseman Jordan Schulting has entered the transfer portal.
“He’s a wonderful kid,” said Bazin, noting that Schulting carries a 4.0 grade point average.
Bazin said senior forward Reid Stefanson will travel Saturday to Portland, Maine to embark on his professional career. Stefanson will join the Maine Mariners of the ECHL.
Forwards Andre Lee (Los Angeles) and Lucas Condotta (Montreal) previously signed with NHL teams.