The Century Patriots are the number one seed from the West Region for this weeks state tournament and a big part of their success is due to a Century senior.
Nicholas Brown is one of the team captains for the Patriots. He's a player Troy Olson has watched flourish over the last four years.
"He's grown every year, you know, he's really gotten better, he's gotten bigger, faster, and stronger. This fall he played in the elite leagues out in Minnesota and I think that helped him quite a bit, but, you know, he's gotten more composed with the puck, you know, his shots gotten a lot better, his skating's gotten better, he's gotten stronger. Now this year he's starting to add a physical aspect to his game which we really haven't seen up until now," said Olson, Century head coach.
Skating at 6 feet 3 inches and 195 pounds, Brown's length and strength causes havoc for opposing teams every trip down the ice.
"Obviously defense is a huge part of the game. Try to lock down the best player is a huge success as a team. And like what everyone says, defense leads to offense, so obviously locking down defensively and locking down their best player is key," said Brown.
Brown is one of the best scorers in North Dakota. He now has 27 goals and 26 assists, a total which puts Nicholas in the top five heading into the state tournament.
"It feels pretty good, pretty humbling because there are kids that are above me and, you know, obviously I'm choosing them down by trying to beat them. I think just my size on the ice is huge and reach and stuff, its hard to get the puck away form me. I think I've gotten a little bit more mature, you know, like more muscular, I guess bigger and stronger. So I think that's really helped me improve every year," said Brown.
With just a few more games left in his career with the Patriots, Olson is well aware of the void Brown will leave behind.
"I'll miss him in the locker room around the guys being a great kid, you know, and to have a kid who's that good at the game, and to be a great leader by work ethic, and by what he does and how he acts as a person is going to be tough to not have him around the room after four years," said Olson.
Brown and the Patriots play the Roughriders of Grand Forks Red River in the first round. It's a 5:30 p.m. start on Thursday from Scheels Arena in Fargo.