Sacred Heart

Barney Colgan remembers the crowds. Red Adams remembers the rivalries. Pike Colgan remembers the cold. And Tom Champagne remembers how different the game was back then. But they, along with the other living members of the Sacred Heart Hockey Club, remember most fondly a game that shaped their lives and the city of Concord into the hockey hub that it continues to be to this day.

The amateur team was established early in 1931 by Rev. Rodolphe Drapeau. Known affectionately as the “Father of Sacred Heart Hockey,” Drapeau, along with the fervent help of parishioners, was instrumental in the building of an outdoor rink behind the parish school on Pleasant Street in Concord, where the Hearts would play all of their home games. Drapeau formed four teams that comprised the church circuit, with the best players moving on to play for the Sacred Heart Club.

What ensued over the next 20-plus years were local and New England rivalries that helped unite a city around a group of young hockey players that put on a show every time they touched the ice.

Names like Adams, Brochu, Colgan, Couture, Morin, Stuckey and Rice became local legends. They were looked up to and seen as the deities of winter.

The Hearts played their first game on January 22, 1931. It was a contest against the Nashua Hockey Club and Sacred Heart skated to a 3-1 victory. Only three games were played that year, with the Hearts losing the other two – it would be the only losing season in Sacred Heart history.

The sights and sounds in those days are nothing like what’s seen today. The boards at the Pleasant Street rink were short, with fans – sometimes swelling to as many as 1,200 – lining the rink two to three rows deep, standing on snow banks just to get a glimpse of the action. Bill Rice remembers his days before he was a player when he served as a goal judge. Back in those days the goal judge was in the middle of the action, standing on the back of the net and waving a white towel to indicate when a goal was scored.

By the early 1930s the Hearts had struck up rivalries across New England. They played teams from Massachusetts, Maine
and Rhode Island. They played teams from Canada. They played for city pride against the Millville Bruins, another Concord amateur team. They also played the University of New Hampshire freshman team, the St. Anselm College varsity team and the Dartmouth College varsity team. In 1937, the Hearts defeated the UNH varsity team, 5-4. It was the second victory in what would go on to be a 15-game unbeaten streak for the Hearts before it was eventually snapped on Valentine’s Day in 1938 by the Boston Olympics at the Boston Garden, where 400 rabid Heart fans traveled to watch their team play on the same ice as the Bruins.

Winning streaks were not uncommon for Sacred Heart. In fact, the streaks were more common in the post-war years (Sacred Heart didn’t play from 1943-45 because of World War II). The Hearts won 11 in a row from January 1947 to February of 1948. They followed with 14-game winning streak from February 1949 to January of 1950. The streak was broken on January 20 by the Berlin Maroons, who became the Hearts biggest in-state rival.

“You always prepared a little more when you played the Maroons,” Pike Colgan said.”

The loss to Berlin that season did little to slow down the Hearts, however. Sacred Heart went on to win its next 16 games before a showdown with the United States Olympic team on January 9, 1952, in what is known as the defining moment in team history. It was also one of the first times the slap shot was seen in the city of Concord. The American team had a handful of players that could fire the puck with precision, something that caught the eye of Red Adams and Tom Champagne.

“They could shoot the puck,” Champagne recalled. “The only other time I’d seen anyone shoot the puck like that was
Boom Boom Geoffrion of the Canadiens. Guys just didn’t take slap shots back in those days.”

Dan Stuckey, who was a regular in the Hearts lineup back in those days, worked tirelessly with Walter Brown to bring that Olympic team to Concord. The game was played on Sacred Heart’s home ice and the scuttlebutt around town was that the Olympians thought they were just going to show up and skate off with an easy win. That, however, wasn’t the sentiment of their head coach.

“He started seeing all the players on our team come on the ice and recognized that we were more than just a recreation team,” said Bill Rice, who played for the Hearts, but wasn’t suited up for that game. “The coach told the team ‘I want you guys to know you’re going
against a hell of a good team here and these guys are better hockey players than you might imagine.’ ”
And the Hearts took it to the United States team. Sacred Heart skated with them stride-for-stride and even held a 5-3 lead through two periods – speared by a pair of goals from Red Adams in a span of 19 seconds. But the Olympians came out hard in the third period, scoring three unanswered goals and holding off the Hearts for an 8-6 victory. A little over a month later that same Olympic team won the silver medal in the 1952 Winter Games in Oslo, Norway.

The 1952 season was also the last for the Hearts, who played their last game in Lewiston, Maine on March 10 against Dedham in the quarterfinals of the AHA New England tournament. Dedham went on to win the championship.

The Hearts won several state and New England championships themselves over the years. All told, Sacred Heart played 168 games. They won 126 of those games, lost 29 and tied 13.

Over 20 years, Sacred Heart saw some of the best hockey players in the city of Concord don its colors. Ted Rice, Dan Stuckey, Addie Brochu, Maurice Couture, Lang Lea, Doc Mechem and Percy Preston are just a few of the best players that will always be synonymous with Sacred Heart hockey.

We have confirmed the whereabouts of eight still-living members of the senior team: Bill Rice, Red Adams, Barney
Colgan, Pike Colgan, Tom Champagne, Jim Stohrer, Dick Ryerson, Gene Lauziere and Fats Hooley.

Sacred Heart All-Time Players Roster
The Sacred Heart All-Time roster may not be complete. Names were taken from available periodicals between 1930-31 and 1951-52. If you have any corrections or additions, please contact Jim Hayes, Executive Director. The asterisk following the players name indicates he played only for the junior team.

Adams, Red
Arnold, Ingy
Audet, Al *
Audet, Henry *
Audett, Eddie
Audett, Junior
Audette, H. *
Audette, J. *
Babineau, R. *
Babineau, A. *
Babineau, Francis *
Bean, *
Bernard, B *
Berube, *
Boisvert, Wilfred *
Boisvert, Roland *
Boisvert, Leonard *
Bourgault, J. *
Brochu, Dukey
Brochu, Frank *
Brochu, Addie
Brochu, Red
Brochu, Bob *
Calhoun, John
Callahan, Lefty
Calloway, Chip
Carlson, Ed
Carlson, Berger *
Ceriello, Phonzey
Ceriello, Jim
Champagne, Pete
Champagne, Tom
Champagne, John *
Champagne, Norman *
Chandler, Gerald
Chapin, C.
Charpentier, Dave *
Colgan, Barney
Colgan, Paulie
Colgan, Pike
Colgan, Leonard *
Colgan, Louis *
Comeau, Rene *
Cote, Jake
Cote, Al *
Cote, Willard *
Couch, *
Courchene, C. *
Couture, Abie
Couture, Mo
Crowley, Edward

Daneault, Arthur *
Demers, J. *
Denoncourt, Larry
Denoncourt, Phil
Dionne, P. *
Donovan, Paul
Drolet, W. *
Drouin, P *
Drouin, Bob *
Dufresne, Albert *
Dupont, Paul *
Dupont, Marcel *
Ellis, Dwight
Flammand, Albie *
Flammand, J. *
Foster, Al
Foy, Albert *
Foy, Arthur *
Frappier, Al
Gagne, *
Gaudreau, Ernie
Gaudreault, Ray *
Gilbert, Rolando *
Gilbert, Lorenzo *
Gregoire, *
Harmon, Archer
Hart, Tom *
Healy, Tarzan
Healy, George
Hebert, John
Hilliard, Toby
Hooley, Fats
Ianuzzo, Chokey
Jacobs, *
Jeannotte, N. *
Johnson, Tootie
Johnson, Willie
Jones, Bruce *
King, Dave
King, Ernie
King, Bambie
King, Buckie
King, Dan *
King, E. *
King, Ed
King, Tom *
Labonte, Homer
Lachance, A. *
Lachance, Pat *
Laflamme, Joe
Laflamme, O’Neil *
Laflamme, Savior *

Lammare, Bill
Lamirand, Andre
Landry, Minnow
Landry, Leo *
Landry, P. *
Landry, Paul *
Landry, R. *
Lanza, *
Lapierre, Charlie
Lapierre, G.
Laplante, Dick
Laplante, Robert *
Lapoint, Pat *
Lauziere, Gene
Lauziere, Maurice *
Lauzieres, A. *
Lea, Lang
Lebell, R. *
Lebrun, George *
Levesque, *
Lockwood, Bob *
Lyons, Frank *
Lyons, James Jr. *
Mannion, Jim *
Mannion, Dick
McIlwaine, John
Mechem, Doc
Mercier, George *
Mercier, A. *
Mercier, J. *
Mercier, Paul *
Merrill, Herb
Messier, J. *
Messier, Paul *
Moore, *
Morin, Art
Morin, Ed
Morin, F. *
Nadeuu, Albert *
Nault, Bruce *
Neff, C. *
Neff, Ray *
Neff, Richard *
Noel, Herve
Norton, Herb
O’Connell, Richard *
Olson, Oscar *
Otis, Donald
Ouelette, Adelard *
Patione, Lawrence *

Patione, Polo *
Paveglio, Ray
Pelletier, R. *
Phaneuf, Norman *
Phaneuf, Bernard *
Philbrick, Duck *
Planchet, August *
Plourde, Eddie
Preston, Percey
Purdy, Dave *
Racine, Arthur
Racine, Chuck
Reardon, Bolt
Rerdon, J.
Rice, Ted
Rice, Teddie *
Rice, Bill
Rich, *
Roy, Art
Roy, Johnny
Roy, R. *
Roy, Tom *
Roy, Leon *
Ryerson, Dick
Samales, Edward *
Scappettuolo, Frankie
Silva, Frank
Soucy, A. *
Stevenson, Charlie
Stohrer, Jim
Strachan, Buddy
Stuckey, Dan
Tardif, Lionel *
Tetreau, Ernie *
Thereault, *
Thomas, Windsor
Turgeon, L. *
Tuttle, *
Valliere, Ziz
Valliere, Nix
Vallieres, E. *
Vallieres, A. *
Vallieres, H. *
Venne, R. *
Vincent, Jerome
Vincent, Cyril *
White, Stan
Wilson, Bill