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Brown ends trip to Ithaca with rink visit

by Dave Lozo

Dustin Brown's time as a member of the Ithaca High School ice hockey team was brief, yet illustrious. He went to the state championship game twice, losing in the final as a ninth grader in 1999 before winning it all the following season before leaving to play for Guelph of the Ontario Hockey League.

Despite the short stint in Ithaca, located in central New York, Brown played his hockey in two rinks and took the Stanley Cup to both Saturday.

The Los Angeles Kings captain stopped first at the rink he played at as a ninth grader, at Cass Park. It is an outdoor rink shielded from the sun but lacking in ice for Brown's visit. He said the reason Ithaca was able to do so well that season before losing in the state final was the benefit of playing outside. A sign hung congratulating Brown on his Stanley Cup win.

After some stops in between, Brown made a more lengthy visit to the new rink, known fittingly as The Rink. He took his picture under the state championship banner at the far end of the ice with friends, his sons Jake and Mason, and everyone in his group.

It was about 6 p.m. when he wrapped up the visit, his final one on a day that started for him at about 7 a.m. Even as he was about to get into his car to head home for a private party, he still found time to let two shy fans who were afraid to ask take a picture with him and the Cup.

Brown may be a Los Angeles resident now, but he showed Saturday he has a special place in his heart for his hometown.

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