Dick Theriault isn’t exactly sure. He never kept count. He is confident, though, that his seasonal average was about 40 high school games, plus a dozen or so college games. And, too, there were those many youth hockey games all of that officiating spread across 31 years, non-stop.
The grand total? Oh, let’s conservatively say, somewhere between 1400 and 1500 hockey games!
And who knows how many miles of skating those numbers represent!
What Dick is sure of, though: He does love the game. Having grown up in Berlin, it couldn’t be any other way.
Dick went to Notre Dame High School in the late 1950s, at the time when the Rams were on a hockey roll, winning the state title four consecutive years.
As a freshman (1957-58), he played center on the JV squad, and then, for the next three seasons, he skated varsity. He graduated in 1961.
In 1970, he enrolled at New Hampshire College (now Southern NH University) in Manchester, graduating in 1974 with a business degree.
By that time, he and his family were comfortably settled outside of Manchester, in the town of Raymond, where in 1972, they had moved into a brand new house.
In the early 1970s, one of Dick’s close friends suggested he get involved with the Manchester Youth Hockey Association as a referee. And he did. He was hooked, too. And committed.
By 1975, his officiating skills had been sharply honed and he regularly was assigned to do high school games, including several state playoffs and championship games in Durham.
By 1980, he was at the college level, calling Division 1 and Division 2 ECAC games.
When Hockey East was founded in 1984, Dick opted to remain affiliated with the ECAC.
“At that time, I thought Hockey East wouldn’t survive.” He laughs about it now. “I guess I didn’t call that one right.”
Perhaps his single brightest officiating memory is the night in 1984 he called an exhibition match-up between the University of New Hampshire and the US Olympic team. The face off was in Manchester at the JFK rink. “I’ll never forget that one,” he says. “The speed of the game that night was remarkable. Up and down. Everyone was flying.”
Throughout his 31-year tenure, Dick has been a constant dedicated presence in the New Hampshire hockey community. Among his credentials: 1975-2008, served as member of National Ice Hockey Officials Organization (NIHOA), and served as president from 1991 to 1993 – 1980-90, New England Junior and Senior hockey leagues official – 1984-95, USA Hockey instructor of officials – 1990-2008, supervisor of New Hampshire high school officials – 1995-2009, University of New Hampshire goal judge – 2001- 09, Manchester Monarchs official scorekeeper – 2001-04, rules committee member of the National Federation of Ice Hockey – In 2001, became charter board member of the New Hampshire Legends of Hockey and from 2005-08 was the group’s treasurer.
Dick, in 2005 at age 62, retired as an on-ice official but his hockey life hasn’t slowed down one bit. Now splitting his time between Raymond (summers) and the town of Denver, North Carolina (winters), he works twice a week with kiddos in the Learn-To-Skate program in nearby Charlotte.
He also is the regular home scorekeeper for the Charlotte Checkers, the AHL farm team of the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes.
Dick and his wife, Diane, have two children, Melissa and Greg, and three grandchildren, Jacob, Olivia and Riley.