Emmett Kavanagh


San Francisco Shamrocks goalie Emmett Kavanagh (16) smothers between his legs a shot by Frankie Parker of the Oakland Oaks in a 1945 game.

Emmett Kavanagh

Born: August 5, 1923
Died: October 12, 2013 (Montréal)


Emmett Kavanagh, a product of Montreal’s extensive amateur hockey network, played a season of professional hockey for the San Francisco Shamrocks.

ImageThe 17-year-old athlete was hailed by the Montreal Gazette for his “brilliant goaling” for Daniel O’Connell Catholic high school in a 2-2 tie with D’Arcy McGee high in a Junior Interscholastic Hockey League game in 1940.

Kavanagh played 10 games for the Montreal Junior Royals in 1941-42, according to a database maintained by the Society for International Hockey Research.

He enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force and wound up based at Sea island, near Vancouver, where he tended goal for the RCAF Seahawks, a team managed by Fl. Lt. Frank Frederickson, a hockey legend. The Seahawks dominated senior hockey on the West Coast in 1943-44, although the team was forbidden under an air force edict from challenging for the Allan Cup. 

Kavanagh began the 1945-46 season with the Shamrocks in the Pacific Coast Hockey League. Playing out of the Winterland ice rink, the Shamrocks were overwhelmed by superior opponents, though Kavanagh received favourable notice for his play while undergoing a barrage of shots. The Oakland Tribune praised his play, though he lost the season opener by 7-3.

After leaving hockey, Kavanagh took a job with CN Railways in Montreal. He was a regular at Blue Bonnets racetrack.

A brother, Joe Kavanagh, played hockey for Montreal Army during the war, and later skated for the Joliette (Que.) Cyclones. Emmett Kavanagh was predeceased by Joe and two other brothers.


A 1945-46 program of the San Francisco Shamrocks of the Pacific Coast Hockey League.


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