Bell Island native George Connors was a well-rounded athlete who took the Bell Island hockey community by storm in the early 1950’s. In 1950-51, George was the captain of St. Kevin’s High School hockey team, which won two consecutive league championships and he was the top scorer for both series. As well he was a prominent player on the Bell Island Junior team and in 1951 led the team to a convincing victory over Bay Roberts in the East Coast Junior playoffs. Bell Island lost to Grand Falls in the All Newfoundland Junior Championship. In addition, he tied for most points as the youngest player on the Senior Men’s Bell Island Team and in the Junior Series; George scored the most goals for his team and was recognized as the most outstanding player for Bell Island.
George started playing senior hockey for the Bell Island Senior Men’s team at the age of 14. In the 1950’s, George scored more important goals in playoff competition than any other player for the Bell Island Men’s Senior hockey team. In the 1953-1954 season, Bell Island won the All Newfoundland Senior B title after a ten year drought. George played a dominant role in Bell Island’s victory over the Gander Flyers in the series’ final.
During the 1954- 1955 season, George was the top scorer for the Bell Island Senior B All Stars where he scored 31 goals and 2 assists. During an exhibition game in the new Gander arena, George performed the “Easter Bunny trick”, scoring nine goals in one game against Gander. Bell Island faced Grand Falls in the All Newfoundland Senior B championship that year. In game 2 of the finals, Bell Island won by a score of 7-6. George scored five goals in that game, 3 in 33 seconds at the end of the third period. This record has never been broken in Newfoundland Senior Hockey history. Bell Island won the third game of that series by a score of 5-4. In this game, George scored three goals, the third was the game winner at 33 seconds of sudden death overtime. George was named the most valuable player in that series.
During the 1955-1956 season Bell Island again defeated St. John’s in the East Coast Senior Men’s “B” playoffs and faced Grand Falls in the All Newfoundland Senior B championship. Bell Island won the All Newfoundland Senior B championship in two games straight. George won the playoff scoring title.
In 1956 – 1957, George was again top scorer for the Bell Island Senior B All Star Team; he tallied 16 goals and 5 assists. It was also during this season that George was offered a tryout with the Montreal Canadians but to the surprise of many, he declined this offer.
In 1957-58, George continued to excel scoring another 14 goals and 8 assists while also becoming active in coaching a junior team on Bell Island. Bell Island made the jump to the A Division in 1959 where George scored 3 goals and assisted twice in 5 games. George played with the Bell Island senior team until 1962, playing his last All Newfoundland Championship against Gander.
In 1966 George moved to Dartmouth, Nova Scotia and dedicated 10 years of coaching and mentoring to the Dartmouth Minor Hockey Association. In 1997 and 1998, George was inducted as a team member of the 1954-56 Bell Island Senior B All Star Team and was inducted as an individual athlete to the Bell Island Sports Hall of Fame. In 2000 he was inducted as an athlete to the Newfoundland and Labrador Hockey Hall of Fame. George Connors’ skill and determination was an asset to every team for which he played. He is the essence of a great athlete and coach and has left his mark on the record books of Newfoundland hockey history.