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April 23, 2015

Jeff Brownschidle

Jeff Brownschidle was born in Buffalo, New York and grew up in nearby Amherst. He grew up loving many sports, but especially hockey. With his dad John coaching him, his older brother Jack and younger brother Mark, the Brownschidles were very much a hockey family.

All three sons went on to play high levels of hockey. Mark played at Boston University, while Jeff followed Jack's path to the University of Notre Dame and then on to the National Hockey League.

Jeff was not the natural talent that Jack was, and he always had to skate in his big brother's shadow. Jack was one of the all time greats at Notre Dame, graduating the year before Jeff arrived. Jeff, too, had a strong collegiate career, but was never drafted by a NHL team.

Upon graduation Jeff went on to sign as a free agent with the Hartford Whalers, though he would play primarily with the minor leagues. He was called up to the NHL for a couple of stints totalling 7 career games. He picked up 1 assist.

At the age of 37 Jeff died as the result of traffic accident in Buffalo. Police determined Jeff's van ran a red light at 4:20am on December 13th, 1996. He was hit by an oncoming car. Though there were reports that the other driver would be charged with impaired driving, he was cleared of any charges as his blood-alcohol level was found to be within the legal limits.

Jeff left behind two young daughters who he was passing on the love of sports to. The city named a baseball field after him in his honour.

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