In past years, Ontario Hockey League grads have dominated the scoring race in Italy’s Lega Italiana Hockey su Ghiaccio (LIHG). This year, it’s not the case. Jordan Owens is the lone OHL alumnus among the top 20. Playing for the Sterzing/Vipiteno Broncos, Owens was fifth over the 22 game first phase of the schedule and is fifth nine games into ‘Phase 2’.
Owens played three years in the OHL from 2004-05 to 2006-07 with the Mississauga IceDogs. However, it was the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds that drafted him in the fourth round of the 2002 OHL Priority Selection, 78th overall.
In 2005-06, Jordan led the IceDogs with 26 goals and tied Michael Swift for top spot on the team with 54 points. The following year, the young IceDogs were growing up and Jordan’s 74 points on 32 goals and 42 assists were good for just fifth on the team. It was an amazing turnaround for Mississauga, finishing 2005-06 with just 49 points and increasing that number to 90 points for 2006-07.
Undrafted to the National Hockey League, Owens saw his pro action in 2006-07 after the IceDogs were eliminated from the Robertson Cup playoffs. Jordan played two regular season games for the Hartford Wolf Pack in the American Hockey League and also appeared in six more games for the team in the Calder Cup playoffs.
Since, Owens has played pro hockey in the AHL, ECHL, Denmark’s Metal Ligaen and the LIHG. In his rookie season, he played in the ECHL All-Star game as a member of the Charlotte Checkers. In 2012-13, his lone year in Denmark, Jordan was a member of the league and playoff champion SonderjyskE club.
After splitting 2013-14 between the South Carolina Stingrays in the ECHL and the Hamilton Bulldogs in the AHL, Owens is enjoying success in the newly restructured LIHG. After the first 22 games with Sterzing/Vipiteno, Jordan scored 17 goals and assisted on 19 for 36 points.
‘Phase 2’ splits the 12 team league into a division of the top six teams (Master Round) and a division of the bottom six teams (Playoff Round). Playing in the top division, Owens again sits in fifth with 16 points on six goals and ten assists over nine games.
Sterzing / Vipiteno
Officially the SSI Vipiteno Weihenstephan Broncos, the team has roots that date back to 1948. For much of the past decade, Vipiteno has played in the LIHG Serie A2, or the second level. The Broncos were A2 champions in 2004-05, 2008-09 and 2010-11. For the 2014-15 season, the Serie A2 has been abolished to create a stronger Serie A1.
The Broncos play home games at the Weihenstephan-Arena in Vipiteno, Italy. The venue seats 1,500 and was opened in 1983.