(Fairfield, CT) - Patrick Knowlton, the captain of the 2010-11 Sacred Heart Pioneer men's hockey team, has signed a professional contract with the Gwinnett Gladiators of the ECHL. The Gladiators are the AA affiliate of the NHL's Atlanta Thrashers.
Knowlton becomes the fourteenth Pioneer in program history to join the professional ranks after his college career and the ninth active currently on a professional roster.
"We're very happy that Patrick is going to get to continue his hockey career at the professional level," said Sacred Heart head coach C.J. Marottolo. "It will be a great proving ground for Patrick as he tries to climb the professional ladder."
Knowlton played in 131 games for Sacred Heart, with a career line of 24 goals, 58 assists, and 82 points. He closed out his career with six goals, 20 assists, and 26 points as a senior. The Colorado Springs, CO native registered a career high 13 goals, 26 assists, and 39 points as a junior.
He also scored one of the biggest goals in program history, netting the game-winning goal with 42 seconds remaining in regulation of the 2010 Atlantic Hockey Semifinals in a 2-1 win for SHU over Air Force. That eliminated the three-time defending champion Falcons from the Atlantic Hockey Tournament, and catapulted the Pioneers to the AHA Championship game for just the second time in program history.