March 23, 2011 - Gridiron Club of Greater Boston president Paul Stewart announced today that Boston College senior goaltender John Muse (East Falmouth, MA) is the winner of the fifty-ninth Walter Brown Award, presented annually to the best American-born college hockey player in New England.
Muse, who was the Eagles’ goaltender for their NCAA championships in 2008 and 2010, topped a slate of 15 semifinalists for the award, the nation’s oldest nationally-recognized college hockey honor. It was established in 1953 by the members of the 1933 Massachusetts Rangers, the first American team ever to win the World Championship Tournament. Walter Brown coached the Rangers to the title in Prague, Czechoslovakia, that year; the team defeated Canada 2-1 in overtime in the championship game.
Three other candidates from the group of 15 polled strongly and were named finalists in this year’s voting: junior goalie Joe Cannata (Wakefield, MA) of Merrimack College; senior forward Paul Thompson (Derry, NH) of the University of New Hampshire; and senior forward Broc Little (Rindge, NH) of Yale. Muse and the three finalists will be in action this weekend, as their respective teams all advanced to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament.
Muse was a unanimous Hockey East first-team all-star selection, leading the circuit’s goaltenders in all statistical categories both in league and overall play. He allowed 40 goals in 23 league games for a sparkling 1.84 goals-against average. His 560 saves made for a .933 save percentage, and his record in league play was 18-4-1.
A graduate of Noble and Greenough School in Dedham, Mass., Muse had arthroscopic surgery performed on his hip and undertook extensive rehabilitation prior to his junior season. After the 2011 Hockey East playoffs, his career record at the Heights was 89 wins, 38 losses, and 16 ties. During the playoffs he surpassed the Eagles’ all-time save total of 3,605, held since 1997 by Greg Taylor.
“This year’s field of semifinalists included four goaltenders, and there were several others who had fine seasons but did not make the cut. That’s an indicator of the tremendous importance of a playing well in the goal, and it is hard to find a goaltender who has done the job better or more consistently, year-in and year-out, than John Muse,” stated selection committee chairman Tim Costello.
The 59th Walter Brown Award will be presented at the annual New England College Hockey Writers’ Dinner on April 13 in Saugus, Massachusetts.