“Fastest Gun in the History of Hockey.”

2020-01-13T16:14:40-05:00January 3rd, 2020|

That was the opening sentence of a Providence Evening Bulletin story in February 1973, and for a couple of glorious weeks that aptly described North Providence High School’s Ron Bruno. And the Rhode Island high school hockey world basked in his radiated glory. Bruno, a senior left wing for the Cougars in '73, scored two [...]

Rhode Island: Birthplace of Hockey’s First Full-Time Goalie Facemask

2020-01-13T16:21:53-05:00June 18th, 2019|

From youth leagues to the pros, the goaltender’s facemask is standard and required equipment. Younger generations might be surprised to know that it hasn’t always been that way. Prior to the 1950’s, no self-respecting goalie, let alone hockey player, would be caught hiding behind a mask. While, from time to time, there was the occasional [...]

The Birth of Burrillville Hockey: Tom Eccleston Needed an Edge.

2020-02-17T16:15:15-05:00May 29th, 2019|

As the 1937-38 RI amateur hockey season began, a 28-year-old defenseman, Tom Eccleston, Jr., was playing in the state's best amateur circuit, the Intercity League. His Greenville Townies played before paying customers at the legendary RI Auditorium. Tom needed an edge because the league had just announced that an Intercity League All-Star Team would be [...]

Michael Spinks vs Harvey Bennett, Jr. Boxing in the City of Brotherly Love

2020-01-14T09:11:49-05:00March 1st, 2019|

Back in the summer of 1977, Harvey Bennett, Jr. was coming off, perhaps, his most eventful professional season. He started the 1976-77 campaign with the Washington Capitals but was traded to the Philadelphia Flyers in November. During the season he was chosen to play alongside his brother, Curt, with the US National Team. The brothers [...]

RI High Schoolers Came to the Rescue When the Flu Turned the RI Reds Blue

2020-01-14T09:14:09-05:00February 12th, 2019|

George “Butch” Keeling and Ed Yagnesak may not be household names in RI Reds’ history, but for about a week in October of 1957 they were the talk of all local hockey. That’s when the “Asian Flu” reached North American shores and effectively decimated the Providence Reds roster as it was about to start the [...]

Brother Adelard and the Colorful History of “The Flying Frenchmen”

2020-01-14T09:15:31-05:00January 18th, 2019|

When Alfred “Al” Thurier was inducted into the Mount St. Charles Hall of Fame in 2013, the hockey legend was characterized as the Academy's “original Flying Frenchman.” As his career developed Thurier was better known as “Fred.” His was a pro career that began in 1937 and ended in 1952. Along the way, he starred [...]

LaSalle’s Clem Harnedy – in his time, “The greatest goalie ever developed among native-born Americans.”

2020-01-14T09:17:54-05:00January 2nd, 2019|

New Englanders know Walter Brown as the former owner of the Boston Bruins, who later founded and owned the Boston Celtics with his close friend and RI Reds’ owner, Lou Pieri. However, Brown’s greatest contribution to sport may have been the development of hockey in the United States, which he influenced for over three decades. [...]

Zellio Toppazzini: Such a Distinctive Name, You’d Think They’d Get the Picture Right!

2020-01-14T09:20:46-05:00November 27th, 2018|

As the R.I. Reds “Player of the Century”, Zellio Toppazzini had little difficulty getting his name on the list of top scorers or professional hockey greats. He had 786 points in 785 American Hockey League games. But Topper had no luck at all getting his picture on hockey trading cards. His “first card” is in [...]

RI’s Bill Mandigo is the Winningest Coach in All of Women’s Collegiate Hockey

2020-01-21T10:53:30-05:00November 9th, 2018|

Burrillville High School’s accomplishments on the ice are legendary, not only in Rhode Island but throughout New England, as well. So, too, are many of the players and coaches it has produced. It may be surprising to many that the most successful coach of all whose early contact with the game came with the Broncos [...]

Main Event: Chuck Scherza vs Rocky Marciano When Discretion was the Better Part of Valor

2020-01-14T09:36:03-05:00July 16th, 2018|

In his 13 seasons in pro hockey, Chuck Scherza of the R.I. Reds earned a reputation as a scorer, fierce checker who could dig the puck out of the corners, and a tough customer who never backed down from a fight. His career penalty totals rank third on the list of all Reds' players in [...]