BOSTON, Mass. - Gridiron Club of Greater Boston president Thomas Burke announced today that junior goaltender Mike Ayers (Hingham, Mass.) of the University of New Hampshire men's hockey team is the recipient of the 51st Walter Brown Award, given annually to New England's best American-born Division I college hockey player.
Ayers, the Hockey East Co-Player of the Year, is the fourth player in school history to earn the prestigious award. The other Wildcats to win the award were Ty Conklin (2001), Ralph Cox (1979) and Bob Miller (1977).
He registered the first shutout in Hockey East championship game history on Saturday night in the 1-0 overtime win vs. Boston University at the FleetCenter in Boston. Ayers stopped 50 of 54 shots on the weekend by Massachusetts and Boston University, good for a .926 save percentage and a 1.82 GAA.
Ayers owns a 24-7-6 record on the year with a 2.20 GAA and a .925 save percentage. His sixth shutout of the season Saturday broke UNH's single-season shutout record at UNH. Former Wildcat netmider Ty Conklin set the previous record of five in 2000-2001. Ayers is unbeaten in his last 10 games with a 7-0-3 record in that time and needs one win to tie the school record for victories in a single-season. In the Div. I national leaderboard, he ranks second in shutouts and fifth in save percentage and GAA.
The Walter Brown Award is the oldest nationally recognized honor given to individual players in the sport of american college hockey. The members of the 1933 World Champion U.S. National Team established the award at their 20th reunion in 1953. Criteria for the selection committee include leadership, character, sportsmanship, and ability as well as on-ice achievement. The Gridiron Club of Greater Boston has been the steward of the Award since 1977.