Not even the polio he was diagnosed with at the age of 12 could slow down the late Dicky Valliere.
He helped Notre Dame High School in Berlin win four straight New Hampshire championships between 1953 and ’57, and co-captained the 1957 team that won the New England title.
He’d go on to play 10 seasons with the Berlin Maroons, finishing his tenure with more than 400 points. The Maroons won two New England amateur championships and two national amateur championships during that time.
For Valliere, it all began on a pond at the end of Devens Street in Berlin known as “The Frog Pond.” Growing up in modest means, he didn’t own a new pair of skates until one was purchased for him by the Rev. Armand Provost, the athletic director at Notre Dame, during his freshman year of high school.
At Notre Dame, which won the first 16 New Hampshire state championships after the NHIAA began recognizing a champion in 1947, he scored just three goals as a freshman, but added 24, 25 and 37 his next three years. He graduated with an astounding 89 goals and 96 assists for 185 points.
Notre Dame won the 1957 state title by acclamation. It went on to win the New England tournament, beating Hamden, Conn., in the championship game, 7-0. Valliere, with three goals and three assists in the tournament, was named to the All-Tournament team.
He teamed with DeDe Villeneuve at Notre Dame ((the two scored a combined 97 goals during their senior year) and again with the Maroons, whom he’d joined for the 1959-60 season after being honorably discharged from the military.
In ten seasons with the Maroons, Valliere scored 228 goals and added 201 assists for 429 points. He recorded double-digit goals and assists every season he played. Two times his teams won New England Amateur Hockey Association championships and twice they won National AHA championships.
Valliere was employed by Converse Rubber Company in Berlin until it closed in the late 1970s. He them moved to their plant in Lumberton, N.C., where he lived for the remainder of his life, passing away in 1998.