Editor's note: The Examiner has been announcing the members of the Missouri Mavericks' Top 10 all-time team over the past two weeks. Each sports section featured a member of the team, as voted on by fans on the Mavericks home web page. Goaltender Shane Owen will be featured today and the final player will be featured in Saturday's sports section.
By Bill Althaus
Shane Owen played just one season with Missouri, but it was special enough to earn him the ninth spot on the Mavericks' all-time top 10 team.
His 35 wins were the most for a single season, and he finished with a miniscule 2.58 goals against average. And the former Utah Grizzlies backup was an iron man, appearing in 51 games (35-15-1) and leading Missouri to the top spot in the Central Hockey League during the regular season.
“We might have stolen a win or two, here or there, because of Shane,” former Mavericks coach Scott Hillman said. “We’ve had some great goaltenders here with Charlie (Effinger, another member of the all-time team) and Robbie (Nolan).
“And Shane certainly ranks with the best.”
Owen, who recently signed a contract to play with the East Coast Hockey League’s Stockton (Calif.) Thunder, said the move to the West Coast was a difficult one to make.
“I loved playing in Missouri and will never forget our fans,” he said by phone. “To skate out on the ice with a standing-room-only crowd cheering is what every player dreams about.
“If I would have come back to the CHL, the only team I would have even considered playing for was the Mavericks. The front office, the coaches, my teammates and the fans were all special. I want to thank everyone for making my stay so special and thank the fans for this great honor. You never think about something like this until it happens, and I really am kind of speechless. Thanks.”
Team president Brent Thiessen said Owen is a deserving member of the elite team, even though he is the only Maverick on the top 10 team to play just one season in Missouri.
“I think that shows just how special Shane was to our team and our fans,” Thiessen said. “He was a fiery competitor, and we pretty much knew he wasn’t coming back because of the season he had.
“He made a big impact in our league, and other teams pay attention to things like that. When I played football, my coach told me that a quarterback can’t win a game by himself, but he can sure a lose a game.
“Shane never lost us a game, and he made some spectacular saves to win a lot of games. Off the ice he was a good guy, a guy you wanted to represent the team in the community. We’re going to miss him, and we wish him well.”