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Outstanding Senior Athletes: Brown leads icers to CCHA title in program’s best season

Dan Murphy | Friday, May 18, 2007

A 30-6-3 record and a 1.58 goals-against average this year easily put senior goaltender Dave Brown on a short list of the top players to ever skate for the Irish.

Brown’s efforts this season played a huge role in Notre Dame’s best season in program history. Now, he and the Irish part ways – but both have very bright futures.

After winning the regular season and tournament CCHA championships – Brown was named the MVP in each – second year head coach Jeff Jackson has brought in a promising recruiting class to take over for the eight seniors graduating this weekend. Jackson was recently signed through 2013, and the athletic department has made a commitment to keeping the program among the country’s best for many years to come.

Brown, on the other hand, is spending his last few weeks on campus preparing for his professional career. The Stoney Creek, Ont., native was drafted by the Pittsburgh Penguins following his freshman season in 2004. The Penguins have until the middle of August to sign Brown, and it’s likely they will figure out a deal in time.

“They’re saying all the right things, but we are still waiting for the actual offer. We’re just waiting, now but hopefully we’ll hear something soon,” Brown said.

Jackson said the amount of ice time Brown logged this season – he started in 39 out of 42 games – will go a long way for the senior when he heads into the professional ranks, where goalies play upward of 60 games every season.

“I think he has a chance to make it to the National Hockey League,” Jackson said.

In the meantime, he has been working out with several of his classmates on the ice and in the weight room. Brown is trying to take his game to the next level on the physical and mental levels. He is working out on a daily basis to stay in shape in the weight room as well as continuing to work with a sports psychologist to keep himself mentally sharp.

“That has been such a huge benefit to me, and it has helped me a lot to be able to recognize that whole other aspect of the game,” Brown said.

The extra work Brown has done off the ice in the past four years has been a huge part of his success between the pipes. The training has allowed Brown to cement his name in the record books with the majority of Notre Dame’s goaltending records under his belt. The first team All-American also has an impressive resume of awards including team MVP, 2007 CCHA player of the year, Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award and the runner up for college hockey’s ultimate prize – the Hobey Baker Award.

Despite all his personal accolades, there is no doubt in his mind that his most memorable achievement during his college career was capturing the CCHA title at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit this March.

“It would have to be winning at the Joe – it was a great experience and a great game against Michigan,” he said. “Just being able to raise the Mason Cup was just a phenomenal feeling with all of our fans there.”

Notre Dame defeated Michigan 2-1 on a third period goal from senior Jason Paige to win its first-ever tournament championship.

Brown said that he was sad to see his collegiate career come to a close but feels that he was able to take full advantage of the opportunities and successes that he and his teammates enjoyed during their time at Notre Dame.

“I really tried to take everything in, so it was that much more special putting on the jersey for the last time at home. I really tried to absorb everything because I knew what was ahead of us,” he said.

It is tough to predict what lies ahead of Brown now, but it is certain that behind him he leaves a strong legacy and a program on the rise.