Friday, May 25, 2007

Alec Connell

Known as the "Fireman" simply because he was actually a fireman in addition to a hockey player, Alec Connell also put out the fire of opposing sharpshooters.

He was also better known as Alex Connell. Newspaper reporters way back when often mistakenly referred to him as Alex. Alec didn't mind and it continued throughout his career and throughout history in books.

Alec Connell, who wore his trademark black cap while tending net, played from 1924 until 1937 most notably with the Ottawa Senators, but also with Detroit, the New York Americans and the Montreal Maroons. In that time he recorded 199 wins and a miniscule 1.91 GAA in 417 games.

Connell also recorded an amazing 81 career shutouts, which ties him with Tiny Thompson for 5th place on the all time shutout leaders list.

During the 1927-28 season Connell set a record that has stood the test of time, and assured him his spot with the Legends of Hockey. He registered six consecutive shutouts and was not scored upon for 446 minutes and nine seconds, a record that still holds firm to this very day, and will likely never fall.

Connell was one of Canada's star lacrosse player, and only picked up the game of hockey while he was serving in the armed forces in WWI when he was asked to play goal for one game. By 1924 Connell had perfected his skills and joined the Ottawa Senators.

With Connell in goal, Ottawa won the Stanley Cup in 1926-27 and the following year he set his fabulous shutout streak. That year he allowed only 57 goals in 44 games. Connell retired in 1933, but came back for two more years in 1934 to help the Montreal Maroons win the Stanley Cup.

Enshrined in the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1958, Connell coached junior hockey for more than decade after retiring as an active player.


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