Capitals Development Camp Interview: Brooks Ostergard

Washington Capitals Development Camp invitee Brooks Ostergard (Chagrin Falls, Ohio) finished his distinguished career at Robert Morris University with the highest save percentage (.917) and lowest goals-against average (2.73) among four-year lettermen in program history.  He also ranked second in the RMU record books with 39 career wins and 2,776 total saves.  The 6’2, 190 lb Ostergard finished his stay in the Pittsburgh suburb of Moon Township with an outstanding .928 save percentage, 10th best among NCAA Division I goalie for the 2011-12 season.  During his collegiate career, he was named to the College Hockey America all-rookie team in 2008-09, received third-team Atlantic Hockey Association honors in his senior year and was AHA goalie of the month in December 2011.  He signed a pro contract with the ECHL’s Chicago Express this winter and made his pro debut February 29.

Photo by Lake Fong/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

A butterfly-style goalie, Ostergard allowed two goals in 25 minutes in the camp’s opening day scrimmage.  Both goals came off loose pucks within a few feet of the goal; he had a small chance to save the first one, but no chance to save the second.  This is his post-scrimmage interview. 

How would you describe your playing style?

I tend to be on the aggressive side; I try to eliminate as much space as possible.  I feel the more aggressive I am in conjunction with my size, the better I am.

Describe your first ECHL game [Ostergard allowed 5 goals in an overtime loss].

A lot of nerves.  I had just finished my college season.  I was excited to be there…maybe a little too excited, definitely nervous.  But it was a good experience, good to have that under my belt.  I met some cool people along the way, so it was definitely a positive experience.

How have you developed since you first arrived at Robert Morris University?

I would say the biggest factor has been experience.  When I first came there as a freshman, I was pretty raw.  After 4 years with nearly 100 games played and lots of experience, I feel I’m a little more mature and can handle some situations better.

What made Robert Morris University the choice for you?

I was recruited by them and I really liked what I heard from the coaching staff.  I liked the proximity to home; it’s nearly a two hour drive and the parents can come up whenever.  And I like the fact that it’s a business school [Ostergard was a business major].  The hockey program had had some pretty impressive wins in recent years prior to me committing there, and I liked the direction of the program.  I also liked the fact that it was a smaller name program and I’d like to be part of the process of making it bigger and putting it more on the map.

How has college hockey risen in profile on the Pittsburgh sports scene?

It’s definitely growing.  Robert Morris, I believe this is going to be their eighth year, and each year the attendance has increased.  The number of impressive wins against ranked teams seems to be increasing, as well, and we gain more and more attention nationally.  So they’ve made improvements and they’re going in the right direction.

You authored a couple of big wins against RIT.

This past year, RIT, yeah, we shut them out in our barn.  There are lots of good teams in the league; Air Force I’d say was notably the best team.  Unfortunately we couldn’t make it further into the playoffs.

What do you hope to show at this camp?

I’d just like to show them I definitely have some potential.   I like to make the most of every opportunity that I’m given.  I know I’m a talented goalie, but it’s only a matter of performing and showing people I can do it.

Matt Gajtka contributed to this report.  Follow Andy Green on Twitter here.