Swanton’s Amanda Conger wins 2020 Hockey Humanitarian Award

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St. Anselm College women’s hockey senior and Swanton native Amanda Conger has been named the 2020 Hockey Humanitarian Award recipient.

Conger is the 25th recipient of the honor, which was announced Saturday afternoon. It is given each year to college hockey’s finest citizen — a student-athlete who makes significant contributions not only to his or her team, but also to the community-at-large through leadership in volunteerism, a news release said.

A former Missisquoi Union Valley High School standout, Conger was nominated after donating one of her kidneys to Barre’s Cameron Ouellette, who was diagnosed with Stage 5 kidney disease in spring 2019.

The harvesting and transplant procedures took place in early June and both have made a full recovery. Conger had met Ouellette, a racecar driver at Thunder Road, through an internship experience.

“I am humbled that I was nominated, named a finalist and am now the recipient of this prestigious award, which has honored so many outstanding student athletes,” Conger said in a statement. “While I am exceptionally grateful to be the recipient of this award, it was completely unexpected,” said Conger. “I can only hope that the more my story is shared, the more awareness it brings to the importance of organ donation. I am fortunate this is another platform to do just that.”

It’s the seond time in four years the honor has been given to a player with Vermont ties. In 2017, St. Michael’s hockey players Danny Divis and Justin McKenzie were the award’s first co-recipients.

2017: St. Michael’s duo wins Hockey Humanitarian Award

Conger has also volunteered her time with numerous noteworthy causes, including Team IMPACT and Girls with Power Tools. She also has worked with the College’s Assault & Violence Education & Reporting Team (AVERT) and in the Harbor, an on-campus hub for prevention, education and awareness of domestic and dating violence.

Returning for her senior season at St. Anselm’s this past winter, Conger tallied three goals and 10 assists in a career-high 32 games. She played in a program-record 116 games over her four years and finished with 72 career points (31 goals, 41 assists).

“I truly believe it is Amanda’s outlook on life to make the most of all her opportunities and not take life for granted,” St. Anselm coach Kerstin Matthews said in the same release. “It takes a special person to be so selfless to add a physical challenge of this degree right before her senior year. It is amazing to see how this young woman has touched so many lives — what’s more, she doesn’t see it in terms of what she has done for them, but rather what they have done for her.”

The Hockey Humanitarian Award Foundation will also present Conger with a check for $2,500, which will be donated to Donate Life Vermont. 

The other four award finalists for the Hockey Humanitarian Award were Devin Brosseau (Clarkson), Cal Burke (Notre Dame), Dakota Keene (UMass Boston) and Delaney Wolf (St. Mary’s).

For more information, visit HockeyHumanitarian.org.

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Contact Alex Abrami at 660-1848 or aabrami@freepressmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter: @aabrami5.