Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Ice's Brown named USHL GM of the Year

Indiana Ice head coach & general manager Jeff Brown was named the United States Hockey League's General Manager of the Year.

In his dual role, Brown led the Ice to the franchise's second Clark Cup championship. The Ice went 9-3 in the playoffs, beating Green Bay in four games, Dubuque in three, and Waterloo in a best-of-five series that was decided in the final two and a half minutes.

Brown also led the Ice to a 41-11-7 regular-season record -- second overall in the USHL and first in the league's Eastern Conference -- a significant turnaround from the team that finished last overall in the USHL a year ago.
Jeff Brown coached the Indiana Ice to the Clark Cup title.

Brown was voted GM of the Year by the USHL's coaches and general managers. The Ice led the league in fewest goals allowed per game and fewest shots allowed per game.

Brown was 56-32-12 with the Ice over two seasons.

He began putting this team together during the 2012-13 season, making a significant number of midseason moves and stockpiling draft picks -- including five picks in the first round of this year's USHL Entry Draft.

That paid off when the team signed Denis Smirnov to a tender, then had five first-round picks in the USHL's Phase II (Entry) Draft. With them, they picked Aidan Muir and Brian Pinho first and sixth -- the two combined on the Clark Cup-winning goal -- 33-goal scorer Scott Conway seventh, and goaltender Jason Pawloski 13th. Pawloski was the Clark Cup Playoffs MVP and Conway was not just the team's leading scorer in the season (68 points), but also in the playoffs (11 points).

All but one of the team's selections in the first four rounds of the USHL Entry Draft -- Brown's first with the Ice -- made an impact this season. Third-round pick Jacob Pritchard skated with Pinho and Muir to form a solid scoring line, and fourth-rounder Tim Shoup was an all-USHL Rookie Team selection. The affiliate list was also stocked with top prospects, including Mitch Slattery, who played one game for the Ice and is rated among the top 150 North American skaters by the NHL's Central Scouting Service.

Brown said after the Clark Cup championship was won that he was proud that the team largely stayed together without many changes. Two trade deadline deals bolstered the team -- acquiring big defenseman Ryan Mantha from Sioux City and goaltender Hayden Stewart from Dubuque. The latter won his first 13 starts and set the club record for scoreless minutes. Mantha had the second assist on the Cup-winning goal and was a mainstay on defense for the Ice throughout the second half of the season.

Prior to coaching the Ice, Brown won the NAHL title with the St. Louis Bandits in 2012. He had a long career as an NHL defenseman in Quebec, St. Louis, Vancouver, Hartford, Carolina, Toronto and Washington. He played in the 1994 Stanley Cup Final with the Vancouver Canucks.

USHL release

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