With the 2019-20 NAHL Season coming to an abrupt and unexpected end, the Austin Bruins are taking this time to thank the players whose junior careers wrapped up this season. TJ Chillot takes you through each of the 1999-born players who finished the season on the Austin roster and what they brought to the Bruins both on the ice and off. In addition, TJ looks ahead to see what’s on the horizon for these incredibly talented hockey players. #OnceABruinAlwaysABruin
Thank you, Brett Miller!
Ask any goalie and they’ll tell you that it can be a thankless job. It seems that when the team loses, all the pressure and focus comes down on you. On the flip side, when the team wins the attention goes to the goal scorers. So we’d like to take this opportunity to thank the backbone of the Austin Bruins, goaltender Brett Miller.
Miller, 20, spent two full seasons with the Austin Bruins following a year in the GOJHL with the Waterloo Siskins. While in Austin, Miller provided the fans with TONS of electifying saves and was always reliable in the crease. Across his Bruins career, Miller played in 52 total games with a record of 30-12-6 and on shutout. The Northville, MI, native boasted a 2.60 goals against average with a save percentage north of 90% at .908.
Back in November, Miller turned aside 26 Minnesota Magicians to earn his first NAHL shutout. A 4-0 Bruins win in front of a raucous Riverside Arena crowd.
In his first season with the Bruins, Miller began as the second goaltender for most of the 2018-19 season behind Kyle McClellan. I use that word “second” very loosely because the two tandemed the crease and it was more like a 1A and 1B situation. Thanks to his strong play in 2018-19, Miller earned a committment to RPI (NCAA D1) and a call-up to the USHL where he played in one game with the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders.
It was 2019-20 where Miller truly found his stride. As the undisputed top goalie for the Bruins, Miller his 2.57 goals against average was good enough for 11th in the NAHL and 4th in the division.
His play on the ice could be described in one word, poised. Miller never seemed to rattle, and if he did – those games were few and far between. His movements always seemed controlled even when weird hops would find their way in or rebounds caused him problems. He was reliable, and as someone who watched the games from the broadcast perch, I always felt the Bruins had a chance to win with Brett Miller in the blue paint.
Personally, Brett is a rather quiet guy around the locker room as he was focused and determined. However, as you’ll hear below, when you get him talking he’ll keep going. Take a listen to The Austin Bruins Show from earlier this season when he joined in me studio for exhibit A of how well spoken the netminder is. In addition, Miller has some great leadership qualities as a goaltender, something the younger guys could really look up to as they got their feet wet in the NAHL.
He was steady, he was reliable, he was talented, and he always brought us to our feet. RPI is getting a quality goaltender who’s going to fight for the top spot in the goaltending room from the moment he arrives on campus this fall. Good luck Brett! We’ll be watching from Austin as you continue your collegiate career, and thank you!
52 Games Played, 30-12-6, 1 SO, 2.60 GAA, .908 save percentage