Concord High School
From the days of games at Memorial Field and White Park in the 1930s, to present-day success at the Douglas N. Everett Arena, Concord High School hockey has thrived like few other programs in the state.
The Crimson Tide have won eight state championships and made 19 appearances in state championship games. Some of their players are recognized among the best in New Hampshire history.
The Early Years
Much of the credit for high school and youth hockey must be directed to then-Concord High School athletic director Delly Callahan, who also coached several sports. In the January 8, 1924 issue of the Concord Monitor, Callahan unveiled a plan to immediately start an inter-school league in the lower grades in order to develop hockey into a major sport at the high school. Later in January of 1924, the Concord Monitor stated, “While (future Olympian) Doug Everett was in high school, he was in back of a movement to have school authorities recognize hockey as a school sport.” This movement failed, but the C.H.S. Independents (the forerunner to the varsity) were founded under his captaincy. Early records show they played as early as the winter of 1919-20 and continued to play until the school officially sponsored a team in 1933-34.
Games were played at White Park, and in one of the first games the “High School Independents” from Concord High School played the Millville Seven team at St. Paul’s School and prevailed, 3-0. Members of the Independents included Brown, Prowse, Leary, Foley, Maganeau, Gervais and goaltender Jewell. The CHS Independents played through the 1932-33 season.
Officially, Concord High School first fielded a team in 1933-34. The Tide played six games, winning five, and were coached by Callahan, who guided them for 20 years, and led that first year by captain James Cerriello. The Tide won two unofficial state titles in the early years, the first in 1938-39 and then again in 1945-46, the year before the NHIAA began officially recognizing
a state champion.
The four main schools to fi eld teams back then were Notre Dame and crosstown rival Berlin, Hanover and Concord. In addition, Dover and Franklin sported teams as well. Concord played in each of the fi rst two NHIAA state championships, both of which were played in Hanover. The Tide faced Notre Dame both years, losing 2-0 and 1-0.
According to available information, they did not field a team from 1953-54 through 1960-61.
In 1959, Russ Martin settled in Concord and that winter, with high energy and enthusiasm, spearheaded a revival of ice hockey in the Capital City by founding the Concord Youth Hockey program, which was sponsored by the Parks and Recreation Department.
In December of 1959, Martin led 65 boys for the Pee Wee league, ages 8-11, and another 44 for the Bantam league, ages 12-14. According to the records, some of original volunteer coaches dedicated to growing hockey in the Capital City were Pete Champagne; Steve Winship, Bambi King, Ingersol Arnold, Art Hughes, Paul Hines, John Healy, Paul Dupont, Bernard Colgan and Dutch Morse. The program was incorporated on July 3, 1968 the as the Concord Youth Hockey Association(CYHA).
Martin was again at the forefront of the hockey revival in Concord, this time at the high school. He met with the Board of Education on Feb. 16, 1961, and petitioned the board while submitting a proposal and tentative budget to add ice hockey to the high school’s formal athletic program. The board accepted the proposal that winter and Dupont was selected to coach the Crimson Tide sextet the next year. Dupont (a former CHS goaltender) coached the Tide for two seasons.
Concord competed in their third state championship game in 1963-64. Coached by former UNH star and Legends Hall of Famer Ken McKinnon, the Tide lost to the Berlin Mountaineers, which were led by Dick Bradley, one of today’s inductees. Concord went on to play in three more state championships games in the late ‘60s (1966-67, 1967-68, 1968-69), losing each time to Berlin.
The Tide competed in four straight state championship games, beginning 1975-76, and in 1976-77 they broke the string of seven straight title-game defeats. Led for seven years by Legends Hall of Famer Dick Ryerson and captained by Hall of Famer Lee Blossom,the Tide edged Bishop Guertin, 3-2. Doug Courchene’s power-play goal with 48 seconds remaining in regulation time gave top-ranked Concord a come-from-behind 3-2 victory. The winning goaltender was Tim Curry with 20 saves.
Ryerson said, “It was the greatest thing that’s happened to me in 22 years of coaching.”
Becoming a Dynasty
On March 3, 1979 the Crimson won for the second time under the guidance of Ryerson and captain Pete Champagne. A crowd of 2,500 enthusiastic fans filled the Snively Arena at UNH as Concord topped city rival Bishop Brady, 6-1. The victory came on the strength of two goals apiece by Champagne and Dave Tillotson, plus 20 saves from Brian Smith.
Upon Ryerson’s retirement, the Crimson Tide were coached over the next 10 years by Duncan Matthews, Tom Walton and Vic Stanfi eld. In 1990-91, Legends Hall of Famer Dunc Walsh took over the reins; this winter he will be starting his 24th season as head coach.
On March 7, 1992 in Durham, in just his second season at the helm, he guided the Crimson to their third state championship, besting St. Thomas, 3-2. Matt Ekstrom wristed a centering pass from Mike Commerford just 17 seconds into overtime giving Concord their third title in 16 years. Goaltender John Herrick made 13 saves for the Tide.
Other championships followed:
March 9, 1996: Durham / Concord 5 – Bishop Guertin 4. Shawn Whitehead and Matt Gray scored two goals apiece and Concord held off Guertin for the 5-4 victory in front of 2,700 at the JFK Coliseum. Concord (21-0) capped the first wire-to-wire undefeated season in 10 years. Fourteen-year-old freshman defenseman Mick Mounsey scored the game winner on a blistered slapshot and led the tournament in scoring with 3-6-9 totals. Mick’s sister, captain and future U.S. Olympic gold medalist Tara Mounsey, played her last high school game. Goaltender Tim Gray made 20 saves for the Tide.
March 15, 1997: Manchester / Concord 3 – Bishop Guertin 2. Concord fi nished its “rebuilding” year by winning its 15th straight game – a 3-2 win over BG before 3,000 in the JFK Coliseum. Concord relied on the goaltending of junior Tim Gray, who made a season-high 36 saves. A goal from Ryan Proulx off a centering pass from Mike Herrick served as the game-winner.
March 14, 1998: Durham / Concord 5 – Berlin 0. Bobby Sloper scored a hat trick and senior goaltender Tim Gray (10 saves) recorded only the fourth shutout in the last 30 years of high school hockey championships as Concord won its third straight Division 1 title, handling Berlin, 5–0, at the Whittemore Center.
Concord, on a 31-game win streak against New Hampshire competition, became just the third team in NHIAA hockey history to win three consecutive titles. Berlin and now-defunct Notre Dame were the only others to dominate in that way.
March 14, 1999: Durham / Concord 5 – Bishop Guertin 1. Top-ranked Concord captured its fourth straight Division 1 hockey crown, using five separate goal scorers in a 5-1 victory against No. 3 BG at the University of New Hampshire. Although Guertin scored first, the Tide recorded fi ve unanswered goals by Kyle Poirier, Ted Kapusta, D.J. Proulx, Shane Rossetti and Carl Audet, while Greg Proulx recorded 19 saves in goal.
Walsh garnered his fifth championship with the Crimson Tide and ended the 1998-99 campaign at 19-2. “We lost 10 seniors last year, so the last thing on our minds was four in a row (this season),” said Walsh.
March 14, 2010: Manchester / Concord 1 – Exeter 0. Freshman Mitch Hayes scored the game-winner 6:14 into the third period while Brendan Garrett stopped all 27 shots for the shutout victory at the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester, ending an 11-year championship drought.
Girls Join the Party
In 1993-94, Concord High School formed a club team for girls that was coached by Jenny Boesch with primary assistance from Kim Arndt.
Boesch would go on to coach the club team for seven seasons. In 2000-01, Tom Ackerson took over for the high school and, upon the formation of the girls division in 2007-08 by the NHIAA, the Crimson played in that very first state championship, losing against Hanover, 5-3.
In 2011-12, Stacy Boudrias, who had played at Bishop Brady and later at St. Lawrence University, was hired to coach the Crimson Tide and guided them to a 10-6-0 record and an appearance in the semifinals. She is entering her third season at the helm of the program this winter.
2009-10 State Champions
Where CHS Played
Concord High School has hosted visiting teams in four separate ice locations over the years:
Memorial Field. Arctic weather invaded Concord just before Christmas of 1935 as the Millville Bruins dedicated the new city rink. Rev. Rudolphe Drapeau of Manchester, J. Mitchell Ahern (Chairman of the City Recreation Commission) and attorney Mayland Morse held a brief ceremony to help dedicate the rink. The Bruins played Potter Press of Newton Center, Mass., but lost, 3-0.
White Park. The rink was built in January of 1936 and ran alongside the pond, running east to west.
Concord High School. The new home of the Crimson Tide was dedicated in December of 1937 with the Millville Bruins playing a benefit game which will help raise money for the installation of lights. The rink ran parallel to North Fruit Street on the corner of Woodman.
Douglas N. Everett Arena. On opening day in 1965, the Concord Shamrocks and the Laconia Lakers battled in front of 1,800 fans. The Shamrocks fought back from a 3-0 deficit to earn a 3-3 tie.
The arena was officially dedicated on Dec. 7, 1965, when UNH faced off against Dartmouth College in front of 2,200 fans. Prior to the game as part of the dedication, Robert Cleary, a teammate of Everett’s at Dartmouth, presented a plaque which read “In Honor of Doug Everett … Presented by his Classmates … Dartmouth College … Class of 1926.” The plaque is on permanent display at the arena. In addition, a fl ag which flew over the Capitol in Washington was presented by Congressman James Cleveland and was hung over the arena’s west balcony.