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Ohio senior defenseman Nick Grose (#13) poses for a portrait in Bird Arena. 

Hockey: Nick Grose, the journey man

The class of 2019 is one that has featured many key players over the last four seasons for Ohio. This article is a part of a larger series that The Post will conduct on all seven members of the senior class.

Nick Grose is a journey man.

The senior defenseman has toured North America playing the game of hockey. He’s played on five different teams in six years, three of which were in Canada. His tour has given him memories that some of his current teammates may not have – such as spending the night with the Iowa State hockey team a few years back when his brother played there.

His tour has given him some of his best friends, both domestic and international. Ohio was never a planned stop on his tour, but it’s been a stop that has perhaps given him the most success.

As a sophomore just a season ago, Grose quickly found his way on the ice at Bird Arena. On Nov. 3-4, 2017, when Ohio hosted Davenport, he scored two goals on the weekend, garnered a first star and did all of it in front his dad’s first time watching him play in Athens.

“It was probably my favorite moment (of my time here),” Grose said.

The impending question of course, if he was a sophomore just a season ago, how is he a senior?

With the noted expenses of attending a four-year university and the fact that Ohio operates at a club level instead of a varsity level – thus meaning no athletic scholarships – Grose saw it best to load up academically and graduate early. His AP Credits he earned in high school helped him out, too.

“I had to do a couple of 18 credit hour semesters,” Grose said. “I don’t have enough money to do another year, so graduate early it is.”

A hectic academic schedule never took a toll on his role for the Bobcats, however. In his senior season, the defenseman says he’s played some of the best hockey in of his life.

Ohio senior defenseman Nick Grose (#13) looks to make a pass during the Bobcats' game against Syracuse on Saturday, Feb. 2.

Fifth on the roster in total points with 20 (five goals, 15 assists), Grose’s play on the blue line has given Ohio success this season. All year, he’s been paired with junior Jake Houston and the two are in sync both on and off the ice.

“It’s been a blast,” Houston said. “We’re roommates, we’re best friends, it’s definitely been one of my favorite years here playing with him on the ice.”

The two have a chemistry that’s helped Ohio on both ends of the ice. On offense, the two hover the blue and generate chances for its ever-rotating first line of skaters. On defense, the two, with their speed, are able to generate turnovers and are able to skate easier alongside the opposing forwards.

“We just have a good time with it,” Houston said. “We’re always bringing each other up, if I make a nice play, I’ll hear him yapping in the back as I’m skating up the ice and it just puts a smile on your face while you’re playing.”

The duo has to enjoy the time they have left together, however, as the Bobcats’ season is almost over. With one regular season series remaining and then two postseason tournaments, Ohio’s number one defensive pairing will soon part ways.

Grose’s journey isn’t finished, not yet anyway. Once he graduates, he plans on going back to where it began – his hometown of Fairfax, Virginia.

He wants to attend George Mason University to pursue a master’s degree in finance. Oh, and use the eligibility he has remaining on its American Collegiate Hockey Association’s Division III team.

But he also wants to explore the possibility of playing in Europe.

All of these decisions aside, Grose is most looking forward to wrapping up his final tour date – his longest in the six-year journey.

“I’m going to try and enjoy every day in the locker room with the guys,” he said. “Whether it’s practice or a game, it’s always fun to have everyone together in the locker room at one time.”

Soon enough, Grose will add Athens as a place of the past. And even though he was only here for two seasons, it’s a place he’s made memories where teammates from the past can’t say they’ve made – such as dancing to the team’s pre-game song “The Bad Touch” at a date party in J-Bar.

Ultimately, it’s a stop he won’t forget.


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