Wrapping up pair of seasons with USPHL’s Jets, Thunderbirds grad Grongstad moving up to NCAA D-III Worcester State
Anders Grongstad came to the Metro Jets during the 2020-21 season and quickly found a spot on the top forward lines.
He returned for the 2021-22 season and after averaging about a point and a half per game, had NCAA schools itching to get him on to their roster for 2022-23.
Earlier this offseason, Grongstad committed to Worcester State University, a Division III school in Massachusetts that is part of the MASCAC conference.
“The school is in a great area and has an ideal school size with a good hockey program with a coach (Bob Deraney) that I believe can help take my game to the next level,” said Grongstad, a Salt Lake City native now residing in Troy, Mich. “It feels great being able to continue playing hockey at the college level. It has always been a dream to play college hockey and it feels like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders being finished with the process to get here.
“I hope to be able learn and adapt to the college level of play. I also hope to be able to help the team as a new player and contribute in any way I can to improve the team.”
Grongstad, also a Colorado Thunderbirds alum, is excited to get back into the classroom.
“My goal is to keep my grades as high as possible to get the most opportunities available,” Grongstad said. “It will be an adjustment after not being in school for a couple years, but I think I’ll be able to get back into the swing of things quickly as it will be my main priority.”
During his two seasons with the Jets, Grongstad posted 38 goals and 86 points in 70 regular-season games, adding four goals and eight points over 12 USPHL postseason games.
“We are thrilled about ‘Gronger’ and his decision to commit to Worcester State,” said Jets coach-GM Justin Quenneville. “He took advantage of our program here the last two years and was a big part of the team’s continued success. He drew a lot of attention because of his skating and skill set. It was always impressive how strong he was with the puck and ability to drive offense for his linemates.
“We don’t doubt for a second that he will continue his success at the NCAA level like so many other Jets. He is deserving of this opportunity, and we wish him the best of luck.”
Getting the chance to play NCAA hockey was something Grongstad began to realize was a possibility once he came to the Jets.
“The Metro Jets have played a major role in allowing me to move on to the next level,” said Grongstad. “The organization is a family the second you join, and everyone is always looking to help each other out in any way possible, whether on the ice or outside of the rink. I’d like to thank all the coaches for everything they did for us and really pushing us to be the best we can be. I’d like to thank my teammates for making the last two years so special and making the experience unforgettable. What I’ll remember most about Metro is all the lifelong friendships that I created and the maxing memories. Metro will always be an organization I look back at as a family.
“I’d also like to thank my parents as this dream would never have been possible without them. They sacrificed day in and day out to be able to ensure I could continue pursuing the hockey path. I’d also like to thank all my past coaches and mentors that helped me develop into the player and person I am today.”
— Matt Mackinder
(July 6, 2022)