GDI Goalie Tyler Brown is preparing to make his WHL playoff debut against the Lethbridge Hurricanes.
By: Greg Harder, Regina Leader-Post
Pressure? What pressure?
Regina Pats goalie Tyler Brown was all smiles on Wednesday afternoon as he talked about counting the days in anticipation of his first WHL playoff start against the Lethbridge Hurricanes.
“I love playoff hockey; it’s always a lot more intense and a lot more competitive,” offered Brown, whose team opens a best-of-seven Eastern Conference quarterfinal on Friday in Lethbridge.
“There’s no nerves yet. I’m getting really excited, starting to have trouble sleeping at night. I’m just looking forward to Friday night and getting the playoffs started.”
Brown served as an understudy last season to veteran Daniel Wapple, who was a standout during Regina’s longest playoff run since 2007.
Although Brown didn’t play in any of his team’s nine post-season contests, he did pick up a few things watching from the bench.
“You have to keep your focus the whole 60 minutes,” he said. “(It’s important to) win all the puck battles in front and just stand tall as best you can — no matter what happens in front of you.”
Brown’s last post-season appearance came in 2013-14 when he helped backstop the Winnipeg Wild to a Manitoba midget AAA title. The 18-year-old netminder is accustomed to the inherent pressure of his position — especially at playoff time.
“It’s just part of the game,” he said. “I’ve dealt with it since I was eight years old. It’s not going to be much of a change for me.”
The Pats are expected to lean heavily on Brown, who will be facing the WHL’s second-highest-scoring team.
The Hurricanes’ explosive offence presents quite a test, but Brown doesn’t plan to change his approach just because the spotlight in the playoffs shines a little brighter.
“I haven’t looked at it that way,” he explained. “A goalie can make the difference (in a series). I’m going to try to make that difference as best I can. (But) it is just another hockey game. I’m not going to try to do anything different besides playing how I usually do.”
Brown opened this season as a backup but received a promotion in early November when Wapple was traded to the Vancouver Giants. Brown ended up with a 21-19-1-5 record, 3.15 goals-against average, .909 save percentage and two shutouts.
The Winnipeg product has been a standout performer at times, holding the Pats in games that could have turned into blowouts. That included Regina’s regular-season finale in Brandon on Saturday, when he stopped 48 of 51 shots in a 3-0 loss to the conference-leading Wheat Kings.
As for Brown’s lack of playoff experience, Pats head coach/GM John Paddock noted that Lethbridge goalies Stuart Skinner (2.73 GAA, .920 SP) and Jayden Sittler (2.94 GAA, .905 SP) are both post-season rookies as well.
In Brown’s case, Paddock considers it a non-issue.
“I haven’t thought about it,” said the veteran bench boss. “It doesn’t mean I’m not putting importance on it but (Brown) saw it last year. The goalies he’s going against on the other end are the same; they haven’t played in it either. That’s what I would point out to him: ‘Just be yourself, play it as another game. The (other) players are going to do their job and you do your job.’
“I don’t think there’s any reason for him to feel any more pressure.”
To read the article CLICK HERE
Brown has been training with GDI for many years through 1v1 lessons, GDI Prospect Clinics and the Total GDI Academy.
GDI FEATURED PROGRAM
GDI Spring Academies:
GDI Goaltending, being the regional leader in goaltender development, has designed a unique program that offers goaltenders a special training program while playing Spring Hockey. As goaltenders go through spring hockey competing in tournaments our goal is to provide instruction for each goaltender and to help lead them on a path of developing and detailing their game.
Spring Academy - The Rink Training Centre (May 4th-June 1st)
For more information CLICK HERE
Spring Academy - Gateway Arena (April 25-June 13th)
For more information CLICK HERE
For a full listing of all GDI programs CLICK HERE