Sign in with your NHL account:
  • Submit
  • Or
  • Sign in with Google
Florida Panthers Facebook Florida Panthers Twitter Florida Panthers Google+ Florida Panthers Pintrest Florida Panthers Instagram Florida Panthers
News

Panthers Prospects Pair Between the Pipes

Cats goaltenders share special bond

Tuesday, 08.05.2014 / 12:04 PM / News
By Patrick McGrath  - FloridaPanthers.com
X
Share with your Friends


Panthers Prospects Pair Between the Pipes
Sam Brittain and Evan Cowley have a few things in common--goaltending prospects, University of Denver Pioneers and both were selected with the 92nd overall pick in their respective NHL draft years.

Sam Brittain and Evan Cowley have a few things in common. Both are Florida Panthers goaltending prospects, both have patrolled the nets for the University of Denver Pioneers and both were selected with the 92nd overall pick in their respective NHL draft years, Brittain in 2010 and Cowley three years later in 2013.

Their similar paths have proven beneficial for both players as the duo spent the 2013-14 season together at the University of Denver where Brittain, a senior and the de facto starter, served as a valuable mentor to the freshman Cowley. This setup worked wonders. Brittain submitted a stellar senior season that saw him lead the Pioneers to a National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC) Championship while being named the NCHC goalie of the year, a first team NCHC all-star and a finalist for the Mike Richter Award which is presented annually to the nation’s top collegiate goaltender. Cowley, meanwhile, impressed in his role as Brittain’s primary back-up, appearing in five games while posting a 1.76 GAA and a .949 save percentage. Things went just as well off the ice where the two Panthers prospects formed a close relationship.

“We became pretty good friends last year,” Brittain said. “We roomed on the road together and worked together every day.”

For Cowley, the older and more experienced Brittain proved to be an invaluable resource guiding him through many of the transitions that follow joining the NCAA ranks and being selected in an NHL Draft.

“He’s a great pal of mine and the relationship we had this year was very very cool for me,” Cowley said. “He taught me a lot over the year. He knows the tricks of the trade and he’s very generous in talking me through things. It’s been a great experience getting to know him.”

While they formed a successful tandem last season in Denver, the Panthers goalie prospects will not be playing together next season. Following his senior year with the Pioneers, Brittain signed an entry level contract with the Panthers which means he will be plying his trade in the professional ranks next season. With Brittain moving on to the next level, the door is open for Cowley to seize the starting goalie job for a University of Denver squad that should be very competitive moving forward. Playing with an underclassmen heavy roster last season, the Pioneers made a surprise run to an NCHC Championship victory. They followed up that title with a trip to the NCAA tournament where they fell to Boston College in the first round. After only graduating a handful of seniors last year, Cowley is bullish on his team’s outlook for the future.

“We are going to be real solid,” Cowley said. “Only losing a couple of guys and the guys returning now have some experience and are looking good. We are confident we are going to have a good season here and hopefully I can be a big part of that.”

Both Brittain and Cowley were in attendance at the Panthers July development camp but their paths diverged from there. While Brittain is preparing for his first NHL training camp, Cowley is wrapping up a whirlwind year with an appearance at USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp. That whirlwind year began at the 2013 NHL Draft when he was drafted by the Panthers as a 17-year-old. Since then he has completed his freshman year at Denver, and participated in two Florida Panthers development camps. Now at the US Junior Evaluation Camp (which runs through August 9) Cowley is competing against some of the best young American players, as well as against top young talents from traditional hockey powers like Finland, Sweden and Czech Republic.

Against this stiff competition, Cowley has performed quite nicely, continuing the trend of rising to the challenge each time the level of competition is increased. Through Monday, Cowley has stopped 35 of 40 shots faced, and has looked primed for a strong sophomore campaign with the Pioneers. Panthers Director of Scouting Scott Luce, who is in attendance at the camp, has been impressed with Cowley’s continued growth.

“He is making cleaner saves and doing a good job of limiting rebounds and secondary scoring chances,” Luce said. “His positive attitude and work ethic is paying off as he has shown us and the other scouts in attendance that he is ready to take the next step in his development. We look forward to seeing Evan play at Denver this season.”

Whatever successes lie ahead for Cowley and the University of Denver Pioneers, they will be achieved without the graduated Brittain. In their one season as college teammates the duo of Panthers prospects formed a mutually beneficial relationship that helped advance the development of both players. As one Panthers prospect moves on, another is there to take his place. Brittain, for his part, looks forward to teaming up with Cowley again sometime in the future.

“Hopefully one day down the road we will be teammates again because we are such good friends right now.”

UPCOMING EVENTS

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
N. Bjugstad 76 16 22 -14 38
S. Upshall 76 15 22 1 37
B. Campbell 82 7 30 -6 37
B. Boyes 78 21 15 -6 36
S. Bergenheim 62 16 13 -16 29
J. Huberdeau 69 9 19 -5 28
T. Fleischmann 80 8 20 -18 28
T. Gilbert 73 3 25 -5 28
B. Pirri 49 13 12 6 25
A. Barkov 54 8 16 -3 24
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 25 23 7 .919 2.40
S. Clemmensen 6 7 1 .896 3.09
 
OUR PARTNERS

 

FloridaPanthers.com is the official Web site of the Florida Panthers. Florida Panthers and floridapanthers.com are trademarks of the Florida Panthers Hockey Club, Ltd. NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2014 Florida Panthers Hockey Club, Ltd and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.