Adam Brown deflected away praise much like he turned aside pucks for the Kelowna Rockets this season.
The 19-year-old goaltender was quick to pass the credit on to his teammates after being named the club’s MVP for the 2010-11 season Sunday at the Rockets’ annual awards ceremony.
“I’ve been working hard and this is a huge honour,” said Brown, a native of Yorba Linda, California,”…but it’s not really an individual award. I couldn’t have done it without my teammates. So I think it’s more of a team thing and just goes to show why we had such a good season because everybody’s playing well together.”
Still, all modesty aside, Brown’s numbers during the 2010-11 regular season are impossible to overlook.
In 60 games, Brown posted the fifth best goals against average (2.59) in the WHL along with the third best save percentage (.916)
He also became the franchise’s all-time leader in regular season wins with 85, breaking Kelly Guard’s former standard.
But perhaps his most important contribution this season was Brown’s penchant for turning would-be losses into wins for the Rockets.
“He gives us a chance to win every night,” said Rockets head coach Ryan Huska.
“There were games at important times this season he kept us in, and games he pretty much won all on his own. All the teams with winning records typically have great goaltending and we’ve been getting that from Adam this season.”
Captain Tyson Barrie was Brown’s closest competitor for MVP honours, but the veteran blue liner still walked away with the hardware as the Rockets top defenceman.
Forward Colton Sissons was the lone multiple award winner. The 17-year-old from North Vancouver grabbed rookie of the year honours and the top plus-minus award.
Sissons, lauded by his coaches for his solid positional play, scored 17 goals and 41 points in 63 games and posted a +15 rating.
Other award winners were: Mitchell Callahan, best defensive forward; Evan Bloodoff, unsung hero; Shane McColgan, top scorer; Geordie Wudrick, humanitarian; Jessey Astles, most improved; Zach Franko, most sportsmanlike; and MacKenzie Johnston, scholastic player of the year.
The club also held a brief ceremony honouring the Rockets three graduating 20-year-old players—Evan Bloodoff, Zak Stebner and Geordie Wudrick—and presented each of the trio with a framed photograph.