Not only was the late Ted Rice regarded as one of the best players in Concord’s history, he also was one of just a handful of players who played for all three of the city’s top amateur teams – the Concord Hockey Club, the Millville Bruins and Sacred Heart – during the golden era of senior hockey in Concord.
Proclaimed by his teammates as one of the greatest players in the city’s history, Rice displayed his skill and ability on a wide array of New Hampshire amateur teams. He debuted with the Concord Hockey Club in 1931, recruited by, among others, George Harkins.
Following his debut with the original C.H.C., Rice would help organize a new team called the Millville Bruins, who proved a formidable opponent to the established “Sacre Couers.” The Bruins first played Sacred Heart on Feb. 17, 1933 and won, 2-0. Between 1933 and 1937, the Bruins played Sacred Heart six times, winning one, tying one and losing three.
He quickly became a star attraction when the Bruins hit the road. Opposing clubs, like ones in North Conway and Wolfeboro, would feature Rice on their advertising: “Ted Rice and the Millville Bruins will be playing this weekend.”
When the Bruins dissolved, Rice played six seasons for Sacred Heart, from 1937-38 through 1941-42, and again in 1945-46 season. He played defense with an offensive flair. He played in 60 of the 76 games the Hearts played over those years and the team won 45 of those games, losing just 14 and tying one. He scored 22 goals and assisted on another 25, before the assist was awarded as freely as it is today, and also could play forward.
“He was rock solid and could score,” recalled Hall of Famer Red Adams.
During a two-decade playing career that lasted until his retirement in 1943 – through he’d come out of retirement to play one more season in 1945-46 — Rice played on several New Hampshire teams: the White Mountain Storm Kings of Littleton, the North Conway Hockey Club, the Abenaqui Indians of Wolfeboro and the Manchester Hockey Club.
In the early days of his career, he was granted a tryout with the Boston Bruins semipro club team and later was invited to play with the Springfield Indians, the No. 1 farm team of the New York Rangers. He declined this spot due to financial and family responsibilities, continuing to play with the Concord Hockey Club program and, on occasion, Sacred Heart.
Rice was a versatile player, playing goalie on occasion. In 1932, with the Concord Hockey Club, he was between the pipes for a 3-0 shutout of Hampton.