Alexander "The Ottawa Fireman" Connell - Born February 8, 1900 in Ottawa, Ontario – Died May 10, 1958 in Ottawa, Ontario was a Canadian ice Hockey goaltender.
Connell entered Hockey almost by accident. With no prior experience to his credit, he was talked into playing the game while stationed at Kingston during World War I. Since he could not skate, he had no option but to be the team's goaltender, and played junior Hockey with the Kingston Frontenacs from 1917 to 1919.
Connell then moved to Ottawa where he played for 13 seasons, starting with the Ottawa Cliffsides during the 1919-20 season, then with the Ottawa St. Brigid's from 1921 to 1924, but played 1 season with the Ottawa Gunners in 1921-22.
Noted for wearing a small black cap when he played, Connell turned pro with the NHL Ottawa Senators to start the 1924-25 season after the Senators dealt Clint Benedict (Ottawa's former number one goalie) to the Montreal Maroons. In 1927 he was one of the first goalies to record a 30–win season, the year that the original Ottawa Senators franchise won the last of their Stanley Cups.
In the 1927–28 season Connell set the NHL record for the longest shutout streak at 461:29, by recording six consecutive shutouts, from January 31 to February 18, 1928.
The Ottawa team fell into decline after that and, while the Ottawa team was in hiatus for the 1931–32 season, he played for the Detroit Falcons under loan. He returned to the Senators after that until his first retirement after the 1932–33 season. He was named team captain for that season.
Connell initially retired from Hockey in 1933 but returned for one game during the 1933-34 season as a substitute goaltender for the New York Americans after an injury to Roy Worters forced "Shrimp" out of the game.
He then returned to the NHL to play for the Montreal Maroons to start the 1934-35 season.
Maroons manager and coach, Tommy Gorman, called Connell's performance in the 1935 playoffs the "greatest goalkeeping performance in the history of Hockey." He then provided some specifics: "It was in the Stanley Cup playoffs when the Maroons were two men short. For three minutes, Connell put on an astounding effort against the Maple Leafs, and the Maroons went on to win the Cup." The Maroons, who were underdogs in the best-of-five series, won in three straight games.
As he was unable to gain a leave of absence from his job as Secretary of the Ottawa Fire Department, he retired again, but returned two seasons later with the Maroons.
His 1.91 career goals against average (GAA) is the all-time record among goaltenders of his era.
Alex Connell was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1958.
Alex Connell was inducted into the Ottawa Sport Hall of Fame in 1966.