Burton 40: Shem Hanna
Burton United Socialist Hockey was all but extinct coming into the 2009 season. When Lee Orr came back to provoke BUSH out of its apathy in April of that year, he came bringing with a newcomer from Sun Peaks to play goal; a man who would soon emerge as one of the most singularly unique and mercurial personalities to ever grace Burton Hockey with his presence; a man who would hold down the backstop as one of the greatest netminders to even lace up in Burton.
That man, Shem Hanna, has a distinct appearance and outlook all his own. His look is unmistakable: massive black dreadlocks and a big, bushy beard to go with it (for one session, he briefly donned a Jason Voorhees mask that made opponents think he was the Antichrist incarnate). That first session, he came right out of the gate with .800, and that's been his bare minimum ever since. Shem completely immersed himself in Burton Hockey from the first session of the season through the the last, playing an incredible 173 games, including 103 in goal. Shem set a new standard for combining volume and consistency with performance in goal; he only posted three sessions below .800 the entire season. He finished 2009 with one of the highest season save-percentages ever at .829, and recorded over 1,800 saves! Shem finished just 58 saves behind Bron Mach despite playing 35 fewer games in goal. 14 .800 sessions in a season was unheard of before this season, but Shem did just that. Of all of his great performances in goal, however, his crowning achievement was at the August SuperSession, where Shem battled Golden Joe Leonard in the greatest goaltending test ever seen. At the end of the day, a record 12 games had been played, and Shem had destroyed the session save record. 248 saves in one session was light years ahead of the previous record; beyond belief, really. And he put up .832 while doing it, too.
Shem's playing style is ferocious. He's a killer on rebounds and not afraid to trash talk. It often takes him a couple of games to get warmed up, which quite often leaves him steaming and raging because he's not meeting his own lofty standards; his mood swings are already Burton Hockey legend. At this point, he usually proclaims 'F*ck the stats, I'll just play for fun the rest of the day', and then proceeds to take his game to another level and grab those high-ranking stats anyway. He's already fifth in all-time save percentage and eighth in all-time saves. And that's from one season. One..
Shem is utterly fearless, and out for the glory of winning and competing. Midway through 2009, having accomplished everything he set out to do in goal, he began dabbling with skating for the first time. It took him a while to get going, especially coming in halfway through the highest-caliber season ever, but by the end of the autumn, Shem was cashing in tic-tac-toes like no one's business, picking up three-star points, and even won a session in December. He's feisty, a true warrior of the rink. He's even still battling for points after the play's done! If Lee was at the heart of the 2009 resurgence of BUSH, Shem was the backbone. No one has ever come close to goaltending 103 games and skating another 70 in the same season, not remotely. ShemWow! is entrenched as a valued member of the BUSH crew, truly dedicated to the game. At the forefront of the new generation of Burton Hockey stars and already one of the greatest goaltenders of all time, Shem Hanna is one of the Burton 40.
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Ben de Wit