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Mowery family hockey roots run deep in Nelson

By Contributor
June 20th, 2022

Submitted by Bill McDonnell, Teammate, Colleague, Friend

Following a recent visit with Leroy Mowery, I am reminded of the contributions that the Mowery family has shared since the 1960s.

While attending Notre Dame University on a student-athlete scholarship from 1964 to 1968, Leroy Mowery represented Nelson both at the university and senior hockey levels. His accomplishments were highlighted by both team and individual recognition.

Mowery is one of only three former Maple Leafs who were members of three WIHL championship and Savage Cup teams – 1965, 1967 and 1971.

Individual accomplishments came in the form of being named to two WIHL second All Star teams, and finished as a top-ten WIHL point leader on three occasions.

Following university studies, Mowery began teaching in the Nelson School District.

Many students benefited from his passion for teaching, especially in music. His teaching extended into years of coaching minor hockey.

Following his playing and coaching careers, Leroy and Sharon blessed the Nelson community with three hockey-playing sons. With their father’s guidance, Brent, Dean, and Shandy continued the Mowery tradition.

Expanding on their Nelson minor hockey foundation, the three boys developed their skills at the junior level and beyond.

Brent Mowery played three seasons in the BCJHL and four in the NCAA.

Following his second BCJHL season, Brent was drafted by the NHL Winnipeg Jets.

Following in their older brother’s footsteps, Dean and Shandy helped the KIJHL Nelson Leafs to first place finishes in 1989 and 1990.

The 1989 and 1990 editions of the Nelson Leafs were arguably two of the top all time Nelson teams.

Coached by Ted Hargreaves and Gary McQuaid, the Leafs finished the regular season at the top of the KIJHL. No other Leafs team has been able to replicate their 90% winning rating.

The most recent extension of this historic hockey family is grandson Dylan, as a member of the 2021-22 [KIJHL] championship finalist Nelson Junior Leafs.

Considering the Mowery family connections with team success, their winning percentage is exemplary at 84%.

To gain perspective, the NHL record is shared by the 1996 Detroit Red Wings and 2019 Tampa Bay Lightning at 77%.

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