Aug. 2, 2004
Danis aims to build on impressive resumé Netminder enters season with eye on the NHL (07/28/2004)
Though still sporting a mask from his alma mater, Danis has an eventual role with the Canadiens on his mind.
MONTREAL - A runner-up for the 2004 Hobey Baker Award, Yann Danis may have fallen just short of being named the top player in U.S. Division I hockey. Fortunately enough, he wasn't lacking for other year-end honors as consolation.
At last count, there were 11 of them.
In a breakthrough 2003-04 campaign playing for the Bears of Brown University, the netminder from St. Jerome, QC, posted a 15-11-4 record along with a 1.81 GAA and .942 save percentage that ranked third and second in the nation, respectively. On the strength of those numbers and a season that helped lead Brown to its best ECAC finish since 1995, Danis ended the year under a shower of accolades, earning (take a breath) First Team Jofa All-American honors, INCH.com First Team All-America honors, All-USCHO First Team honors, New England Hockey Writers Association All-Star honors, and First Team All-ECAC and First Team All-Ivy honors. In addition, he was named the 2004 ECAC Player and Goaltender of the Year, the USCHO Defensive Player of the Year, and the Ivy League Player of the Year. He also took home the Leonard Fowle Award as the MVP of New England, as voted on by the New England Hockey Writers Association.
All in all, not too shabby for a 23-year-old who had yet to be drafted by an NHL club.
"It was a team effort - guys really stepped it up in front of me, especially defensively," explained Danis of his heralded campaign. "They did a great job doing the little things, clearing the puck and moving guys from in front of the net. I was playing with confidence, too. I had a good start and it just carried throughout the year."
Danis' success was certainly aided by his own commitment to excellence. Rather than head home to Quebec last summer, he stayed in Providence, RI, working alongside the Bears' strength and conditioning coach to improve his flexibility and agility. He was on the ice every week throughout the off-season, training hard to build on what had already been his accomplished sophomore and junior years at Brown.
The effort paid off. As his team rolled through the season, Danis set ECAC records for single-season save percentage and career shutouts (13), and tied Kevin McCabe ('77) for the most career wins by a Bears goaltender with 43.
J.S. Trzcienski is the Site Manager for canadiens.com.
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