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'Brick Wall' Brown: Wolves goaltender has racked up four straight shutouts

Westshore visits Port Alberni on Saturday night
Westshore Wolves netminder Graham Brown has played 240 minutes of shutout hockey. ALASDAIR ALLCHIN, AE IMAGES

Graham Brown’s hero growing up was Carey Price but not even that crease legend ever recorded four shutouts in a row in WHL junior with Tri-City, the NHL with Montreal or internationally with Canada.

The Westshore Wolves are 8-5-2 as goaltender Brown will carry his remarkable streak of four clean sheets into tonight’s Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League game in Port Alberni against the Bombers (2-13). Brown has gone 240 minutes in four games without allowing a goal and blocking all 108 shots he has faced in that quartet of contests as the streak has ­garnered notice beyond the VIJHL.

“Quite a few people have reached out,” said Brown, 18.

But you can’t think about it too much, he said, and just have to go out and play the games and keep the streak “out of mind.”

The VIJHL record book is incomplete but it is believed to be the league record. It’s more than just that.

“It’s pretty much unbelievable is what it is,” said Wolves GM and head coach Derek Sweet-Coulter.

“I’ve seen three shutouts in a row before but never four.”

And Sweet-Coulter has seen a lot of hockey as the former head coach of the Merritt Centennials of the BCHL and with Hockey Canada with two medals with Team Canada West at the World Junior A Challenge and has worked with future NHL draft picks Alex Newhook, Dylan ­Holloway and Brett Stapley.

Brown’s streak is impressive at any level of hockey.

“Graham is very athletic and never gives up on the puck,” said Sweet-Coulter.

“He is the hardest working player in practice. The reason we are the highest-scoring team in the league is that we have to shoot on him in practice.”

Brown came up through the Peninsula Eagles youth system and played U-17 for the South Island Royals and U-18 for the Island Wild representative teams. The Stelly’s Secondary grad, who will attend Camosun College next fall following this gap year, was noticed by the Wolves in their spring ID camp and signed. Brown also played lacrosse coming up, but not as a goalie.

Brown is five-foot-10 in an era in which pro hockey scouts generally don’t even bother scouting goaltenders who are below six-foot-one. Goalies not that tall have to compensate in other ways in this era.

“I try to be as athletic as I can and challenge the puck,” said Brown.

“I just want to get to the ­highest level I can and hopefully people are noticing me.”