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Kevin Connolly from Ossining High School in Ossining, N.Y., was named the 2011-12 Emile Francis Award winner in a special ceremony during the second intermission of the Rangers' Feb. 19 game vs. the Columbus Blue jackets on Sunday night at Madison Square Garden.
Connolly, who has been Ossining High School's head hockey coach for the past 30 seasons, became the fifth winner of the annual trophy that honors an individual for their contributions to local youth hockey programs.
Presenters at Sunday night's ceremony iincluded former Rangers Nick Fotiu and Brian Mullen. Both New York natives, their own NHL careers were both firmly rooted in the local hockey programs that Francis himself helped organize.
|Ossining High School head hockey coach Kevin Connolly is a role model both on and off the ice. |
As Ossining's coach, Connolly has reached out into the community and always encouraged his players to give back to that community by taking part in various charitabl efforts.
The Ossining hockey program is particularly proud of its longtime involvement with the local Veterans Hospital
Connolly's coaching tenure has been marked by his ability to teach players life lessons both on and off the ice.
At Sunday's ceremony, Connolly was joined by six of his current players, who had nominated him for the award. The six Ossining student-athletes were Zach Giusti, Jackson Kane, Joey Abreau, Jake Camilliere, Nick Lema, and James Brosnan.