Jeff Brown Named USHL General Manager of the Year
Tuesday May 27, 2014
Jeff Brown led the Indiana Ice to a record 42 victories and their second Clark Cup title in team history. (photo by Whiteshark Photography)
Coach/GM led the Indiana Ice to Clark Cup title and record season
The United States Hockey League today announced that Jeff Brown of the Indiana Ice has been named the 2013-14 USHL General Manager of the Year as determined by a vote of League coaches and general managers.
Brown led the Ice to a 42-11-7 record (91 points) during the regular season and finished first in the Eastern Conference by 17 more points than the second-place team. It was the most wins in the 10-year history of the Ice, and they were just two points shy of the top overall record in the USHL. The Ice tied for the USHL lead this season with 21 victories on the road, which also established a new team record, and were second in the League with 21 home wins, which were one shy of a team high.
The Ice were among USHL leaders in multiple defensive categories, including tying for the League lead by allowing the fewest goals per game (2.35). They led the USHL by allowing the fewest shots per game (25.10) and ranked third in penalty killing (85.7%). Indiana provided plenty of offensive also as they were the third-highest scoring team in the League averaging 3.88 goals per contest.
The magical season for the Indiana Ice culminated when Brown led the team to the Clark Cup title as they won a thrilling five-game series over the Waterloo Black Hawks. Indiana went 5-1 on the road during the playoffs as they won the second championship in team history.
It was the first full season with the Indiana Ice for Brown after taking over the club 20 games into the 2012-13 season. He began to lay the foundation for the 2013-14 team as he acquired four additional first-round picks in Phase Two of the 2013 USHL Draft. Four of those five selections in the first round would play significant roles for the Ice this season. Forwards Aidan Muir (1st overall), Brian Pinho (6th overall), and Scott Conway (7th overall) combined for 165 points (75g, 90a) during the regular season. Muir (Edmonton Oilers) and Pinho (Washington Capitals) also became 2013 NHL Draft selections after being selected by the Ice. Conway finished fourth in League scoring with 68 points (33g, 35a) and earned a spot on the All-USHL First Team.
Another selection by Brown in Phase Two of the 2013 USHL Draft was goaltender Jason Pawloski at 13th overall. He tied for the USHL lead this season with 27 victories and was fifth in the League with a 2.46 goals-against-average. Pawloski then helped the Ice capture the Clark Cup by posting an 8-3 record with a 1.80 GAA and .928 save percentage on the way to earning MVP of the playoffs.
Brown also selected forward Tyler Andrew (16th overall), forward Jacob Pritchard (31st overall), and defenseman Tim Shoup (60th overall) over the first four rounds of the USHL Draft. All three players made huge contributions for the team this season, including Shoup who was named to the USHL All-Rookie Team. Prior to Phase One of the 2013 USHL Draft, the Ice signed forward Denis Smirnov to a tender, and the 16-year-old recorded 41 points (15g, 26a) in 47 regular season games and was also named to the USHL All-Rookie Team.
During the season, Brown made minimal rosters moves, but the ones he did had a big impact for the Ice. Three significant moves over a 10-day span in January proved key for the team’s success down the stretch. Brown first acquired Hayden Stewart off waivers and the goaltender would win each of his first 13 starts with the Indiana Ice, including not allowing more than one goal in each of his first nine appearances. Stewart finished the regular season with a 13-1-0 record, 1.29 GAA, and .945 SV% over 14 starts with the club.
Two other January roster moves included the acquisition of defenseman Ryan Mantha from the Sioux City Musketeers and the addition of forward Sam Kurker to the roster. The 6-5, 225-pound Mantha recorded nine points (2g, 7a) and a plus-11 rating over 24 regular season games for the Ice. He is a top prospect for the upcoming 2014 NHL Draft. Kurker, a 2012 NHL Draft pick of the St. Louis Blues, tallied 14 points (6g, 8a) in 24 regular season contests before adding six points (3g, 3a) in 12 playoff games.
Brown compiled a 56-32-12 record over two seasons with the Ice, establishing a .620 winning percentage.
Prior to his coaching career, Brown played 13 seasons in the NHL (1986-98) and amassed 585 points (154g, 431a) in 747 games split between six different organizations. He was selected to the 1992 NHL All-Star Game as a member of the St. Louis Blues, and he helped the Vancouver Canucks reach the Stanley Cup Final in 1994.
Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the USHL celebrates its 12th season as the nation's only Tier I junior hockey league in 2013-14. A record 32 players were chosen in the 2013 NHL Draft and more than 300 players on team rosters last season have committed to NCAA Division I schools, further establishing the USHL as the world’s foremost producer of junior hockey talent. For more information, visit us on the web at www.USHL.com or visit the League’s social media platforms, including Facebook (www.facebook.com/ushlhockey), twitter (www.twitter.com/ushl), and YouTube (www.youtube.com/ushlinteractive). Fans can also watch USHL action all season long, live or on-demand via FASTHockey (ushl.fasthockey.com).
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