By Josh Evans, OKC Barons on 04/11/2013

The Oklahoma City Barons are proud to announce that Alex Plante has been named the team’s winner of the IOA/American Specialty AHL Man of the Year award for his outstanding contributions to the Oklahoma City community during the 2012-13 season.

Plante, a 6-4, 215-pounder from Brandon, Manitoba is one of six players to have played in each of the three seasons the Barons have been in Oklahoma City. His impact in the community this season has been tremendous.

For the last two seasons, Plante and the rest of his teammates have worked with Special Olympics Oklahoma for on the Barons Buddies program. Barons Buddies pairs a Special Olympics athlete with a Barons player for a series of interactions throughout the season. This season, Plante was paired with Macey. The bond between the two extends beyond the four Barons Buddies events during the season. He has taken it upon himself to participate in family activities, including visiting Macey’s house on a regular basis and even attending her occupational therapy classes.

Because of his relationship with Macey, the Barons approached Alex about participating in a “Say no to the R Word” video for Special Olympics Oklahoma. Alex agreed and in his own words, voiced a Public Service Announcement discussing the hurt that can be caused by using the “R Word”. The video led to a feature story about their relationship on KFOR’s weekly feature Is This a Great State or What?.

In a much-less publicized relationship, Alex has embraced the Oklahoma City Youth Hockey Association. He partnered with former professional hockey player Stacey Bauman to serve as a volunteer hockey coach and mentor for two different groups of OKCYHA players.

Alex Plante is now one of 30 finalists for the AHL’s 2012-13 Yanick Dupre Memorial Award, honoring the overall IOA/American Specialty AHL Man of the Year. The league award is named after the former Hershey Bears forward and AHL All-Star who died in 1997 following a 16-month battle with leukemia. The winner of the Yanick Dupre Memorial Award will be announced by the American Hockey League on Apr. 18.

The Barons continue their hunt for a playoff berth on the road this week. Tomorrow night, they visit the Rochester Americans at 6 p.m. (ct). They close out the weekend against the Hamilton Bulldogs on April 14 at 3 p.m. (ct). All three games can be heard on the Barons flagship station, 96.1 KXY.

KFOR (NBC) Feature – Is this a Great State or What:
Video of Barons Buddies First even of 2012-13 season:
Video of Barons Buddies Bowling Event:
Video featuring Alex & Macey at final Barons Buddies event:

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