Young hockey players look up to local Olympian

By Jillian Marshall

February 13, 2014 Updated Feb 13, 2014 at 12:57 AM EDT

Lansing, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Dustin Brown is doing more than keeping eyes glued to the Olympics, he's inspiring young hockey players to shoot for their goals.

Brown, 29, is no stranger to the hockey spotlight. The Ithaca native is the captain of the Los Angeles Kings and won the Stanley Cup in 2012.

The Ithaca High School graduate took home a silver medal from the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, and he hopes to take home a gold medal from Sochi, Russia.

At home in Ithaca, he's a role model to the hundreds of hockey players in the Ithaca Youth Hockey Association.

"He's from Ithaca and it's kind of an inspiration for him to be there," said Samuel Hynes-Klempa, 12, of Ithaca.

The IYHA Pee-Wee and Squirt players have looked up to Brown for most of their lives. Now that he's going for Olympic gold in Sochi, these young players are pushing their limits to try to be like Brown.

"I want to keep on working hard so one day I can be like him more, like one of the NHL stars," said 12-year-old Aiden Burt, of Lansing.

The IYHA practices at Cass Park and at The Rink, some of the players wear Brown jerseys to practice.

"Well I can say one thing, he's an Olympian and I'm glad that he is part of this state and our country," Aiden said.

The United States will hit the ice Thursday morning to take on Slovakia, with the puck dropping at 7:30.

Their second game is on Saturday against Russia also at 7:30 a.m.

USA's last scheduled game is on Sunday against Slovenia at 7:30.

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