The Free Press, Mankato, MN


November 8, 2013

MSU's Grant is an Okie who plays hockey

When Matt Donovan made his National Hockey League debut with the New York Islanders last month, you betcha Minnesota State’s Chase Grant noticed.

Perhaps Grant wasn’t quite that Midwestern about it.

Donovan wasn’t just a player Grant once went up against a few times he was a freshman for the Mavericks and Donovan was a standout defenseman at Denver. No, he had something else that Grant knew only he and scant few others could truly appreciate.

His Oklahoma roots.

Donovan is the first Oklahoma native to play in the NHL. College hockey currently has just two players from the Sooner State, according to a chart compiled by the College Hockey News website: Grant and his MSU teammate Taylor Herndon.

“Me and Taylor are really proud of that,” Grant said.

While there has been minor-league hockey in Grant’s hometown of Oklahoma City for decades, it’s still the heart of college football country.

“I always had to go somewhere to get to the next level,” Grant said. “I wanted to play triple-A hockey and went to Texas. Then I wanted to play Junior A, and was lucky enough to play in the (United States Hockey League) in Fargo (N.D.).”

Some of his friends didn’t necessarily understand where he was going or why.

“If I was playing Division I football, they’d think it was cool; they’d know all about it,” said Grant, who claims to be a big University of Oklahoma football fan. “But some of them think hockey’s just a cool, fun hobby. They don’t see it’s competitive as it is. It’s definitely eye-opening for them.”

Even if they don't fully understand the sport of hockey, those folks should appreciate the way Grant plays the game.

Text Only | Photo Reprints

Latest auto racing news
Featured Ads
Live Moondogs coverage
Shane Frederick's Twitter updates
Chad Courrier's Sports Report
Latest NCAA basketball news
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
NDN Video
Morosi: Tigers pick up Price from Rays Rice intends to become advocate of domestic violence with wife Janay when time is right Ray Rice issues apology for his part in a domestic violence incident A's Acquire Lester, Gomes For Cespedes Price on dealing with trade rumors Arian Foster Answers Questions With Same Boring Answer - @TheBuzzeronFox Pitch Invading Morons Cause Chaos - @TheBuzzeronFOX Cardinals make Peterson highest paid CB Tiger Woods: 1 on 1 Stephen A. Smith -- I Accept ESPN Suspension ... 'It Was My Mistake' Oakland Raiders To Become San Antonio Raiders? - @TheBuzzeronFox Byron Scott: 'This is still a Lakers town' Jack White throws first pitch for hometown Tigers LeSean McCoy explains how Chip Kelly has helped his productivity Chicago Cubs win longest game in team history Will Browns have enough without Gordon? Anderson Silva To Return To UFC, Face Nick Diaz - @TheBuzzeronFox Bills Legend on Bon Jovi's Bid: "F-ck Bon Jovi" - @TheBuzzeronFOX Settlement sets new standards for NCAA Possible MLB trades before deadline