By Gianna Addario
---- — BOSTON — A true leader, exceptional teammate and fierce competitor, Beverly’s Livvy Konaxis exemplifies all of those qualities and more.
Konaxis, along with 33 other student-athletes from all of the boys and girls high school hockey leagues in the state, were honored with the Boston Bruins MIAA Sportsmanship Award during the second intermission of last night’s Bruins 6-2 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes at the TD Garden.
Bruins legend Johnny Bucyk presented the awards to each of the student-athletes on the Bruins’ team bench between the second and third periods.
“The game was great and it was such an honor to be here,” said Konaxis, who also attended a pregame celebratory dinner at the TD Garden. “It’s been such an awesome season, from getting our new coaches and making the state tournament ... just to end it like this and to be recognized by the Bruins was awesome.
“To even have been nominated by my principal, Sean Gallagher, was so amazing.”
The 18-year-old Konaxis, a center who captained the Panthers girls hockey team to an 18-game unbeaten streak this winter, was nominated by Gallagher a few months back and was one of the lucky students chosen by the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association for the award. Konaxis then got called down to the athletic offices, where she found out the good news.
The student-athletes were selected by representatives of their league for best exemplifying the highest standards of sportsmanship in high school ice hockey. Konaxis was selected to represent GEMIHL (Girls Eastern Mass. Ice Hockey League) Northeast Division.
A two-time Salem News all-star and all-conference selection, Konaxis best complied with any and all MIAA rules, which includes respect for opponents and game officials, camaraderie, teamwork and honored the record of conduct on and off the ice.
“Livvy has been a true role model since she’s been a freshman at this school,” said Gallagher. “She’s the first one to help someone less fortunate than herself, and she sets the example of what we want in our student-athletes. Not only is she a great competitor, but she’s mature and respectful — basically all the qualities you want to see.
“When we saw the award criteria, I knew that was Livvy 100 percent. I wrote the letter and sent it in, and was ecstatic that she was chosen. I couldn’t think of anyone more deserving.”
The Holy Cross-bound Konaxis will graduate as Beverly High’s all-time leading scorer in points (116) and assists (79). She tallied a career-best 45 points this past winter, including 17 goals, and her 28 assists led the North Shore. She helped guide the Panthers to the Division 1 quarterfinals, and later was chosen for the MHSCA Shriner’s All-Star hockey game.
“She’s just a terrific leader and pretty much represents everything we look for in a Beverly High student,” said Panthers girls hockey coach Brian Seabury. “On the ice she works as hard as anybody on the team, (is) extremely consistent and never takes a day off.
“Livvy is just a pleasure to be around and completely deserving of this award. She’s gotten so many awards throughout the season — and this is a great way to cap off her senior year.”