He might have only one goal on the season, but Vermont’s Brady Shaw is perhaps the most famous player in all of college hockey. After all, who has had 15 books published about their lives?It turns out Shaw is the featured subject of the popular Brady Brady kids book series that has sold more than 500,000 copies. His mother, Mary Shaw, came up with the name of the series after she found herself having to say her son’s name twice to get his attention.
“She wrote them when I was about 6,” Brady Shaw said. “I wasn’t the biggest reader and she couldn’t find any books that interested me, so she wrote some books about things I liked, such as hockey. They kind of just took off after she wrote the first couple.”
The series includes books about hockey, football and baseball.
“A lot of the stories are based on things that really happened, and the characters are modeled after my real friends, as well,” Shaw said. “When they first came out when I was in elementary and middle school everyone thought it was the coolest thing. The best part about the books is that they all get an important message across, such as hard work or sportsmanship.”
The transition from kid book hero to freshman forward at Vermont wasn’t the easiest for Shaw.
“It has definitely been different from the junior leagues,” Shaw said. “It’s not so much the speed of the game as it is how much time you have with the puck. You have to make sure you don’t overthink things. We have 10 freshmen on the team, so we lean on each other a lot.”
The Catamounts have gotten off to a successful start with a 3-3-1 record that includes a victory over fourth-ranked Notre Dame and a tie at No. 13 North Dakota. They play host to Providence in an important Hockey East series this weekend.
“I think we have surprised a lot of people so far,” Shaw said. “We split with Notre Dame and were leading at North Dakota and were able to get a tie in their building. We have been doing a great job so far but we need to keep working and executing Coach [Kevin Sneddon]’s system. We need to always make sure we are outworking the other teams.”
His work ethic is just one of the things that has attracted Sneddon’s attention.
"Brady has been a great addition to our family here at UVM,” Sneddon said. “His work ethic, desire to improve, his willingness to learn from teammates and coaches, has contributed to his early success at the college level. It is clear that Brady loves the game, and his passion is worn on his sleeve every day."
That work ethic is one of the things that led to his first collegiate goal last weekend in the team’s victory against Maine.
“Personally, being able to score a goal was a big confidence boost,” Shaw said. “Last year I averaged almost a goal a game, and obviously this year the competition level is a lot greater, so you have to focus on all parts of your game and not just scoring goals. You can have a great game without scoring a goal, and I need to just keep focusing on playing my game.”
An Ottawa, Ontario, native, Shaw is majoring in entrepreneurship and hopes to one day own a business. But before that, he’s also hoping to continue his hockey career.
“My dream is to play professional hockey,” Shaw said. “I know things don’t always work out as you plan, so that’s why I wanted to go the college route of playing hockey so I will be able to get my degree. That way I will have something to fall back on when my playing career is over.”
Crossing the blue line
• Heading into a weekend series with Ferris State, Bowling Green sits at 5-3-2 overall, including a 3-1-0 mark in November. Saturday night’s 1-0 loss to the Mavericks ended a three-game win streak and a perfect record in the month of November. Even with the loss, Bowling Green remains two games above .500 in the month. The last time the Orange and Brown had a winning month in November was in 2007-08.
• Providence goaltender John Gillies needs one more shutout to break the Friars' career record. With seven, he is currently tied with former standout Tyler Sims. A sophomore, Gillies has played in 42 games while it took Sims 94 games to reach the same mark. Gillies and the rest of the Friars travel to Vermont for a weekend series. The Catamounts were shut out in a game against Maine last weekend for the first time this year.
• Bemidji State has failed to record a win in overtime this season falling to 0-1-1 in two such contests. In fact, the Beavers are 0-5-12 in its past 17 overtime contests. The team’s most recent overtime victory came at Lake Superior State on Nov. 4, 2011. Last year, Bemidji State was 0-4-8 in 12 overtime contests.
Minding the net
Rensselaer plays Union (N.Y.) this weekend and is looking to stop an eight-game losing streak to the Dutchmen. RPI’s most recent victory came on Nov. 13, 2010, a 4-3 overtime win. … In the past two seasons, Northeastern is 5-3-0 against teams that reached the Frozen Four the previous season. … Bentley senior Brett Gensler is six points away from becoming the school’s all-time Division I points leader. … North Dakota snapped a four-game losing streak with a victory against Nebraska-Omaha on Sunday. The last time North Dakota lost four in a row in the same season it reached the Frozen Four. … Ohio State has won six of its past seven games and plays host to Canisius this weekend, closing out a seven-game homestand. … Only four Boston U. players have more than seven career goals at the Division I level. … Maine has won its first four home games for the first time since the 2006–07 season. … Harvard’s Raphael Girard leads the nation in goals against average, allowing just more than a goal per game (1.01 GAA). … Boston College has averaged an impressive five goals per game with 45 goals in nine games this season. … Michigan Tech is 3-0 at home this year and 0-6-1 away from the friendly confines. … In their most recent games, Army’s Brian Riley picked up his 100th career head coaching victory and Vermont’s Kevin Sneddon picked up his 200th coaching victory. … Robert Morris forward Cody Wydo has scored seven goals and an assist in his past three games, which includes one game with a hat trick and one game with four goals.