ECHL.com Note – In his rookie season with the Reading Royals in 2004-05, Barry Brust was 27-9-4 with four shutouts, goals against of 1.96 and a save percentage of .928 in 42 regular season games and he was 4-4 with two shutouts, goals against of 1.74 and a save percentage of .943 while playing every minute of the Kelly Cup Playoffs as the Royals advanced to the division finals before losing to eventual champion Trenton. He also represented host Reading in the 2005 All-Star Game and shut out the American Conference in the third period to preserve a 6-2 National Conference victory.
By Lindsay Kramer
Mar. 16, 2006
A couple years ago, Manchester goalie Barry Brust was braced to start tackling a real-life education.
His initial pro hockey lesson had been short and painful. Minnesota, which took him in the third round of the 2002 Entry Draft, had other young goalie prospects and didn’t even deem him worthy of a contract offer. Before last season, Brust began mulling the option of attending college in Canada, a move that might have drastically reduced the chances of him ever getting a solid pro opportunity.
That’s when the Los Angeles Kings stepped in with a free-agent offer. Thus diverted from the constraints of a classroom, Brust has rewarded the Kings’ faith with steady progress toward the top of his goalie class.
After spending all of last season and the start of this year with Reading of the ECHL, Brust, 22, is making noise as one of the promising young goalies in the AHL. His numbers (17-10-1, 2.55, .920) have stolen minutes and acclaim from anticipated Manchester bedrock Adam Hauser (17-12-2, 2.76, .913).
“I was ready to face that fact (of losing a pro career). I was glad it didn’t happen,” Brust said. “You always want to start at the highest level possible. But at the same time, I was able to go down there (Reading) and play more than I would have been able to play in Manchester. I look at that experience as a successful one.”
For one thing, it allowed Brust the opportunity to build the foundation which now supports, at the very least, a solid AHL career. Brust said he’s cut down on his kick saves and pad stacking-approach in favor of a butterfly technique that’s more efficient and leaves him in better position to handle rebounds.
“I think if you’re standing still you’re getting passed, especially with goaltending,” Brust said. “(Hauser) has gone over and above the call of duty in helping me out. I try to be a sponge and soak up everything I can from him.”