Cranberry Township native Alex Gritz saw one door close over the weekend in his hockey career, but quickly saw another open.
Gritz spent the last two seasons playing for the Erie Otters of the Ontario Hockey League, but was released on Oct. 11 just five games into the season. The 19-year-old subsequently cleared waivers through the rest of the OHL and signed with the Youngstown Phantoms of the USHL, according to a report by Mark Scheig of The Hockey Writers.
Gritz, a fan-favorite in Erie, posted 57 points over 125 games as a forward for the Otters. A product of the Pittsburgh Penguins Elite system, Gritz first entered the OHL when he was drafted in the third round by the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds in 2016.
He will next get an opportunity to enter the lineup Oct. 18, when Youngstown hits the road to take on the Lincoln (Neb.) Stars for a two-game weekend matchup.