Senior forward Amanda Conger of the Saint Anselm College women’s hockey team was named the 2020 Hockey Humanitarian Award recipient, which was announced on Saturday evening. Conger is the 25th recipient of the award, which was first presented in 1996.
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 (Saint Mary’s).
The Hockey Humanitarian Award 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.
Conger, of Swanton, Vt., was nominated in recognition of a selfless act that took place this past summer. Through an internship experience in her home state, she met a local man, Cameron Ouellette, who was diagnosed with stage five kidney disease. It was discovered in the spring 2019 that she was a match and Conger went forward with donating one of her kidneys to Ouellette. The harvesting and transplant procedures took place in early June and both have made a full recovery.
“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,” said Conger. “While I am exceptionally grateful to be the recipient of this award, it was completely unexpected. 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.”
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.
"Over 25 years we have been incredibly impressed by the caliber of our nominees," said Matt Patrick, Executive Director of the HHAF. "Amanda's sacrifice exemplifies all that the Foundation seeks to honor. She is in every way a true heroine. We could not be more pleased."
Conger has responded from the intense medical procedure, skating in a career-high 32 games in her senior season posting 13 points (3g, 10a). She played in a program-record 116 games in her four years with the Hawks, registering 72 points (31g, 41a). She missed only two games in her four years with the team.
“I truly believe it is Amanda’s outlook on life to make the most of all her opportunities and not take life for granted,” said her head coach, Kerstin Matthews. “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.”
Conger is the second Saint Anselm student-athlete in school history to the receive the award, as Tucker Mullin ‘13 was honored in his senior season. Saint Anselm becomes the fifth college/university to have multiple recipients, joining Boston College, Northeastern, Yale and Wisconsin.
The Hockey Humanitarian Award Foundation will also present Conger with a check for $2,500, which will be donated to Donate Life Vermont. Donate Life Vermont is an organization dedicated to raising awareness of organ, eye and tissue donation in the Green Mountain State. All five HHA finalists received $500 for their respective designated charities. These donations from the HHA Foundation are possible through the generous support of the award’s partners and donors.
Conger is the ninth female student-athlete to win the Hockey Humanitarian Award, and the first since Minnesota’s Sidney Peters earned the award in 2018.
The Hockey Humanitarian Award is awarded annually to college hockey’s finest citizen and seeks to recognize college hockey players, from all divisions, male or female, who give back to their community in the true humanitarian spirit. We seek not to simply celebrate Hall of Fame athletes, but rather Hall of Fame human beings.