Kinkaid leaving Union, signs with Devils

After Union lost to Minnesota Duluth, 2-0, in the NCAA hockey tournament East Region semifinal March

After Union lost to Minnesota Duluth, 2-0, in the NCAA hockey tournament East Region semifinal March 25, sophomore goalie Keith Kinkaid said he was definitely coming back to school for his junior year.

After being named an East first-team All-America last Friday, Kinkaid said he was “50-50” about coming back.

Late Friday night, Kinkaid made it official — he’s leaving Union.

Kinkaid has signed with the New Jersey Devils. A Union source confirmed the signing, which is expected to be announced Monday.

Hockey Futures reported that Kinkaid announced the signing on his Facebook page, and numerous friends congratulated him. Kinkaid, however, wrote in a Facebook email that he hadn’t posted the signing on his page. He added that any comment he plans to make will come Monday.

Union hockey sports inform­ation director Jeff Weinstein said that Dutchmen coach Nate Leaman was unavailable for comment.

“There’s nothing official at this time,” Weinstein said. “If there is an announcement to be made, it will take place next week.”

By signing with the Devils, the 21-year-old Kinkaid could remain in the Capital Region, provided New Jersey assigns him to the Albany Devils.

Kinkaid had an outstanding two years with the Dutchmen. The Farmingdale native went 37-18-6 with a 2.18 goals-against average, a .917 save percentage and four shutouts.

This season was his best, as he helped lead the Dutchmen to their first ECAC Hockey regular-season title, as well as their first NCAA tournament berth at the Division I level. Kinkaid posted a 25-10-3 overall record with a 1.99 GAA, a .920 save percentage and three shutouts. He also shared a shutout with sen­ior goalie Corey Milan in the final regular-season game against Princeton on Feb. 26, the night Union clinched the Cleary Cup.

Kinkaid became the second Union goalie to win the Ken Dryden Award as the league’s top goalie. He was 17-3-2 with an ECACH-best 1.90 GAA, a .926 save percentage and two shutouts. Trevor Koenig was the other Union goalie to win the award, earning it in the 1996-97 season.

Kinkaid also joined Koenig as the only Union Division I player to earn All-America status.

With Kinkaid leaving for the pros and Milan graduating in June, freshman Troy Grosenick is the lone goalie returning next season. Grosenick played in three games, starting once. He was 0-0-1 with a 2.12 GAA and an .897 save percentage.

In February, the Dutchmen received a verbal commitment from goalie Julien Laplante of the Alberta Junior Hockey League’s Bonnyville Pontiacs. Laplante went 28-13-8 with a 2.09 GAA, third best in the league, a .925 save percentage, which was tied for third, and a league-leading nine shutouts.

Union has another goalie recruit in Niskayuna native Colin Stevens, who plays for the Boston Junior Bruins. However, he won’t be arriving until the 2012-13 season.

Kinkaid’s departure caps a wild week for the Dutchmen. On Wednesday, the day he won the Spencer Penrose Award as national coach of the year, Leaman was at Providence College interviewing for the vacant head coaching job.

Categories: College Sports

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