Around the Boards
Make A Wish – New Hampshire versus Vermont
Earlier this summer, the New Hampshire girls and boys hockey teams skated past Vermont. The two teams were selected by the NHIAA Coaches Association. The annual game which pits the best high school seniors was played at the Gutterson Fieldhouse, home of the UVM men’s and women’s hockey teams. Proceeds from the game benefit Make-A-Wish Foundation. The Legends uniforms were provided for both the boy’s and girl’s games.
The Granite State teams earned a pair of one-goal wins in Saturday’s Vermont-New Hampshire All-Star Hockey Classic. The girls team prevailed, 3-2, while the boy’s team won, 2-1.
The girl’s were coached by Al Oliveira of Dover-St. Thomas and Meghan Colitti also from Dover-St Thomas in addition to Kelli Braley from Souhegan High. In that game, Hanover’s Matti Hartman scored New Hampshire’s first and last goals. Hartman, New Hampshire’s MVP, broke a 2-2 tie when she scored the game-winner with 5:20 remaining on a power play. Hanover teammate Kelly Brigham scored New Hampshire’s second goal in the second period to give her team a 2-1 lead going into the third.
For the girls, Matti Hartman of Hanover was MVP, and Jess Cloutier won the Sportsmanship award.
The boy’s were coached by Dover’s Steve Riker, Gary Smith of Lebanon and Matt Davis of Merrimack. In the boys’ game, Concord’s Bradley Murphy scored in the opening period and Bedford’s Alex Abad netted a goal in the third to propel the Granite Staters to victory. Bishop Guertin’s Justin Pearson assisted on Abad’s tally, which came with 12:46 remaining.
Ben Nelson, goalie from Concord, was MVP of the boy’s game, and goalie Nick Martinsen from Dover received the Sportsmanship award.
Legendary Coach turns 100
Family and friends gathered in early July to celebrate the 100th birthday of Barney “The Rocket” LaRoche.
The family thanked everyone who helped make his 100th Birthday Celebration a special one, saying the generosity shown by those attending his party, the gifts, kind words and warm memories shared with No. 9 will never be forgotten.
Notes from the NH Legends of Hockey. Albert “Barney” LaRoche was born in Berlin, New Hampshire, on July 10, 1916. Also known as the “Rocket,” he played 22 years for the various town teams, and in 1937, they became known as the Berlin Maroons. He won six team scoring titles as the Maroons won five (senior) New England AHA titles, in 1941, ’48, ’49, ’51 and again in ’54. They won their first of three (senior) National AHA Championships in 1953-54 over Housatonic, Conn. He finished his playing career in 1956.
Barney coached Notre Dame (Rams) High School for 13 seasons and during that time, their record was 161-79-17. During his tenure, the Rams never lost a single game to another New Hampshire high school. He won an unprecedented 13 NHIAA championships while outscoring their opponents 83-11. The Rams played in two New England championships, finishing as runner-up to Hamden, Conn., in 1954 before returning the favor to Hamden in 1957.
Barney also went on to coach the Maroons four seasons, beginning in 1964-65, ’65-66, ’66-67 and again in 1970-71. During those four years, Berlin’s record was 61-37-7. The Maroons won their second National AHA Championship in 1966-67 over Muskegon, Mich. Of note, the Maroons also won their third and final AHA championship the following season, besting Walpole Mass,, although LaRoche was not coaching.
Albert “Barney” LaRoche was inducted into the New Hampshire Legends of Hockey Hall of Fame on Feb. 17, 2002.
LaRoche also received an extra special birthday greeting from President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle. In their letter they wished LaRoche a happy 100th birthday and thanked him for contributions.
“Dear Barney: Happy 100th birthday! We are delighted to send our warmest wishes as you celebrate this special occasion, and to thank you for your service and sacrifice. Your story is an integral part of the fabric of our Nation, and over the course of a century you have witnessed the kind of tremendous progress that is possible when we work together in pursuit of a brighter tomorrow. We trust you take enormous pride in everything you have accomplished and in the ways your service has touched the lives of others. Again, happy birthday. We wish you the very best,” said the Obamas in their letter.
In addition to the Presidents message, LaRoche received a Senate Resolution from the State of New Hampshire, a Declaration from the New Hampshire House of Representatives, a Citation from the Governor and a Congressional Record from Congressman Frank Guinta of Manchester.
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Induction Tickets Available
Tickets are now available for the Fifteenth Annual Induction Ceremony. The Induction Luncheon and Ceremony will be held on Sunday October 23, 2016 at the Grappone Conference Center in Concord. Tickets are $40 per person. Contact Jim Hayes for ticket information firstname.lastname@example.org
To be inducted in the 2016 Hall of Fame class is as follows: Rand Pecknold; Gary Bishop and John Dodds are being inducted as coaches; Jeff Giuliano is being inducted as a player; and the late Dr. Richard R. Roy is being inducted posthumously as a builder. In addition, the Legends will honor the Saint Anselm men’s and women’s hockey programs.