Flyers goalie Owen striving for better despite topping EIHL netminder standings

Shane Owen produced a man of the match performance in Fife Flyers victory away to Nottingham Panthers on Sunday. Pic: Karl Denham.
Shane Owen produced a man of the match performance in Fife Flyers victory away to Nottingham Panthers on Sunday. Pic: Karl Denham.

Shane Owen may be statistically the best goalie in the Elite League right now - but that wont stop him from striving to get better.

The Fife Flyers netminder cemented his place at the top of the netminder charts with a man of the match display in the 3-2 penalty shots win away to Nottingham Panthers on Sunday.

The 26-year-old Canadian stopped 43 of 45 shots faced, as well as making key saves in the shoot-out, to help Fife claim a notable victory in the home of the recently crowned Continental Cup champions.

Owen’s current save percentage of .924 is the best in the EIHL, and reflects the form he has shown over the past two years with similar figures in the ECHL with Elmira Jackals and Indy Fuel.

But he is setting the bar even higher.

“It’s definitely my goal to be the best netminder in the league,” he told the Press.

“At the end of the day the most important goal is to win games with this team, but if you’re having team success then individual success will come too.

“I’m pretty pleased with .924 – I’ve felt good and hopefully can keep it rolling.

“It’s where I strive to be. For the last few years I’ve had it up and around .920 and that’s where I set my bar – but I want to strive to get better.

“It would be nice to be .930 but I’ve just got to take it one shot and one game at a time. I try not to focus on the stats, and everything else will take care of itself.”

As well as currently being the best, Owen is also the busiest netminder in the EIHL, having faced an average of 37.2 shots per game this season – more than any other goalie in the league.

While he admits that facing a barrage of 100mph shots can be exhausting at times, it is a situation he is not only comfortable with, but actually enjoys.

“I’m not complaining, I’m just going out there making saves,” he said.

“You get into the game more when you’re facing a lot of shots as opposed to standing there for 10 minutes at a time getting cold.

“Our strategy is to collapse and hold teams to the outside because if I can see a shot, I have confidence in my ability to make that save.

“The guys are doing a good job at boxing out and letting me see the puck, I’ve had some good bounces and bad bounces, but fortunately it’s working out quite well so far.

“Hopefully there’s no rebounds, but the guys have done a great job clearing them as well.”

Owen knows he and his team mates will need to be on top of their game this Saturday for the crucial conference match away to Braehead Clan.

“We’re due to get some points back from them but they always come out strong against us so we need to come out and compete for 60,” he said.

“This is a huge conference game, it’s what we’re battling for, that top spot, so it’s two really important points. We just have to do our jobs and the rest will take care of itself.

“We want to dictate the pace of the game, keep it simple, get pucks deep and work hard.

“Everyone’s goal is to get that silverware. We’re all pumped up and we’ve had a couple of good weeks so our momentum is rolling and confidence is only getting better.

“We went through a little rough patch with injuries and guys were getting frustrated and tired, and guys were beating each other up for it.

“We turned things around with a couple of good weekends and I’m looking forward to what’s to come in the remainder of the season.”

Keeping hold of Owen this summer promises to be a challenge for Fife but he admitted it is too early to be drawn on his future, adding: “I’ll leave that to my agent in the summer.”