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08-13-2012, 06:23 PM
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Goaltender Johnny "Mum" Mowers recorded back-to-back shutouts to clinch the Stanley Cup in 1943, the year he was the Vezina trophy winner and 1st team all-star. He was 1st in NHL wins after being 3rd and 5th in wins the previous two seasons, top-3 in shutouts all three seasons. He has a great peak but stunted career due to his military service in the Second World War, an honorable shortening of what most likely would have been an all-time great career.

Mowers played his minor hockey in Niagara Falls and after playing junior in the Honeymoon Capital of the world, joined the Niagara Falls Cataracts of the OHA Senior League in 1935-36. He remained with the club for four years before being noticed by famed scout Carson Cooper in 1939 and signed to a contract by the NHL's Detroit Red Wings. During his first year as a pro, Mowers divided his time between the Detroit Pontiacs of the MOHL and the Omaha Knights of the AHA.

Mowers performed well enough in his rookie season to garner a closer look-see by the Red Wings and in 1940-41 was between the pipes for the big club for 48 games. He was the team's undisputed number one goaltender for three years. In 1941 and 1942 Mowers and the Red Wings advanced to the Stanley Cup finals, only to be turned back by the Boston Bruins and the Toronto Maple Leafs. However, in 1943 Detroit got its revenge, beating the Bruins in four-straight games to take the championship. Mowers was outstanding in goal, winning eight of his team playoff games, while recording two shutouts and a 1.94 GAA. The shutouts came at the most opportune time as he blanked the Bruins in Games Three (4-0) and Four (2-0) of the championship finals. The regular season was also kind to the lanky goalie who won the Vezina Trophy as the league's top goalie and was also honoured by being named to the NHL's First All-Star Team.

As with many NHL players, Mowers had his hockey career interrupted during World War Two and he was out of hockey for two years after enlisting with the Royal Canadian Air Force. In 1945-46 he coached the Wembley Lions of the British League before returning to North America for the 1946-47 season. He played in seven games for the Red Wings that year but the team had now gone in a new direction in goal with Harry Lumley clearly being tabbed as the team's main goalie. Mowers played one more year of hockey with the Indianapolis Capitals in 1947-48 before retiring after being plagued by back troubles.

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