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December 07, 1989 - Image 10

Resource type:
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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1989-12-07

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Page 10-The Michigan Daily-Thursday, December 7, 1989

ICER BOUNCES BACK FROM KNEE INJURY

Brown walks tall for 'M'

icers

by Eric Lemont
Daily Hockey Writer
Lake Superior State hockey coach Frank
Anzalone sat on a chair in his office after his
team had completed an early-season sweep of the
Wolverines. Bouncing a racquetball off the floor
and talking in a thick, old-neighborhood New
York accent, Anzalone, in his best Rocky Balboa
imitation, began to talk about Michigan's Rob
Brown.
"We look at him as a leader," he said. Another
bounce of the ball. "You can see the fire in his
eyes."
When Brown heard on Tuesday what Anzalone
had said he was taken aback but pleased.
"I'm glad to hear he sees me that way....It's a
compliment. I know I haven't said nice things
like that about him. It's good to hear that."
But one doesn't have to take a 400-mile hike
through heavy snow to Sault Ste. Marie in order
to find someone mentioning Brown's intensity.
His roommate, senior co-captain Mike Moes,
said "He has a ton of energy and he makes things
happen out there."
His coach, Red Berenson, described Brown as
"a hyperactive player who will will outwork
other players."
BROWN ponders his reputation as a hyper
player at his apartment. But not before leaning
back on his sofa. And kicking up his feet on the
coffee table. And stroking his pet cat.
Hell, this guy is a living, breathing antonym
to hyper.
He does manage, however, to justify his on-
ice demeanor. "With my size it's something you
have to have. And one way I've survived this far
is through hard work and intensity."

The 5-foot-8 Brown recalls being tested while
playing for St. Michael's College in Toronto's
Junior B league.
"At the beginning, when I started playing up
there that was a factor," he said. "Bigger guys
would try to intimidate me and come after
me...but that was taken care of quickly. You just
have to defenO yourself a couple of times aid
then once you established that they would back
off a bit."
Brown had a successful high school and junior
league career before he tore ligaments in his left
knee to miss 20 games into his senior season.
The injury caused him to miss all but the team's
last five games and, more importantly, the
opportunity to impress teams who were
indecisive about his skills.
Teams like Michigan.
Before the injury, Brown and his line of Bryan
Deasley (left wing) and Joe Day (right wing) all
harbored the idea of playing in Ann Arbor. "The
three of us just kind of assumed that we were all
going to come to Michigan," Brown said.
Deasley ended up committing to the
Wolverines, while Day ended up with an offer by
the team to visit the campus.
Brown ended up with the injury.
Wolverine assistant coach Mark Miller, who
had previously mentioned the idea of Brown
visting the campus, was not so enthusiastic after
the torn ligament. Michigan's attitude, according
to Brown, was one of wait-and-see.
Brown wasn't crushed by these developments
because, ironically, he wanted to play for the
Michigan State Spartans. Even after his injury he
yearned to play for the team that he had grown up
with in East Lansing.

But the Spartans didn't express much interest
in the player who had once been their stickboy.
Seeing that he wasn't going to receive a
scholarship at either school, Brown decided that
he would try to walk on at\Michig,:n because he
would have a chance to play right away and
contribute to the team's rebuilding process.
DON'T mention the word "walk-on" around
Brown, who has heard the adjective bounced
around more times than a bad check.
"Any time my name was mentioned it was
always "walk-on," he remembers. "In the press
guide it was "walk-on candidate." Any time
anything happened it was Rob Brown - a walk
on from Williamston Michigan. If we were on
PASS it would be "Rob Brown, a walk on..."
Well, Brown walked on and contributed
immediately. Berenson, who said that he didn't
know where Brown would fit in at first, quickly
found an answer - everywhere.
Looked at primarily by the Michigan
coaching staff as a defensive forward, Brown
showed his versatility by leading the team in
scoring his sophomore season. He recently
became the team's second active player, behind
Moes, to reach 100 career points and is on pace
to break the school record for most consecutive
games played.
Brown is most proud, though, of receiving
his scholarship. Two years after thinking his
hockey career was in jeopardy, Brown got the
news.
"I can't put into words how much it meant too
me," he said. "Not that other people don't
appreciate it, but it might be something that's
taken for granted," he said. "I'm not saying that
it is, I'm just saying it meant a lot to me."

Brown JOSE JUAREZJDaily
Senior left wing/center Rob Brown is tied for the lead in scoring on the
Michigan hockey team. He is 43rd on Michigan's all-time scoring list
Brown has also played in 136 straight games dating back to his first year.
Games - 16 Assists - 8
Goals -6 Total Points- 14
Is an affirmative action employer.

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