How a student in the wrong place at the right time led to the re-birth of PC Friars hockey

2023-02-04T17:15:56-05:00November 9th, 2022|

In 1926, the opening of the new RI Auditorium and the state’s first indoor ice surface heralded a bright new era for RI hockey. Until then, hockey in the Ocean State was played on frozen ponds and rivers, subject to the whims of the weather. Now, indoor artificial ice generated an explosion of interest in [...]

Ahead of his time – Remembering Tommy Woodcock, a Rhode Island Hall of Fame Trainer

2022-10-24T12:01:33-04:00October 24th, 2022|

Former Hope High School hockey great Tommy “Woody” Woodcock was the original medical trainer of the NHL’s St Louis Blues. He worked for the club for its first 16 seasons. A 3-time All-Stater at Hope, he came from a highly-accomplished hockey family that included brothers Eddie and Rollie. Tom enjoyed a brief pro career in [...]

The Eastern Olympics: A stepping stone for today’s USA Hockey Development Program

2022-10-06T09:12:00-04:00October 5th, 2022|

In 1965, following what can only be described as an embarrassing showing by the US hockey team at the 1964 Games, New England took what many believe was one of the first real steps in drawing up the successful blueprint we have today for developing the best talent and teams to compete on the world [...]

The Legend of Jerry Zifcak – The Pride of Burrillville Broncos Hockey

2022-10-05T17:13:35-04:00September 13th, 2022|

John Zifcak was the eldest of Phillip and Frances Zifcak's sons. With ten siblings to help take care of, he didn't have a lot of time for sports, but was athletic enough to join the Rhode Island State Police where he had distinguished career, retiring as a Lieutenant specializing in arson investigation and then being [...]

Ed Zifcak: the adventurous but uncertain journey of Burrillville High School’s greatest hockey hero

2022-07-24T17:45:56-04:00July 23rd, 2022|

Four years before the outbreak of World War I, Phillip Zifcak emigrated from the Slovakian region of the teetering Austro-Hungarian Empire. His wife to be, Frances, followed two years later. They met working in a textile mill in Uxbridge, Massachusetts, married, and soon welcomed the first of 13 children. Phillip and Frances moved to neighboring [...]

70 years ago, Brown became Maroon to help win Gold & Glory for Rhode Island hockey

2022-04-06T15:42:28-04:00March 9th, 2022|

Over the years, Rhode Island has captured 10 USA national hockey titles. Its first came in 1948, at a time when USA Hockey was known as AHAUS, the Amateur Hockey Association of the United States. That year, the Rhode Island Scarlets captured the “Memorial Cup”, the trophy of the US National Seniors Championships, by defeating [...]

It Seemed like a Dream – the night Pawtucket’s Bob Ricci suited up against Gordie Howe and the Whalers

2022-01-23T16:22:06-05:00January 23rd, 2022|

Bob Ricci's done all right for himself. The 62-year-old Pawtucket native lives in California, working as a Strategic Account Manager for the Industrial Division of Sherwin-Williams Paint. It's a good job with an important company that has commercial and retail customers around the globe. Maybe it's not what you dream of as a kid, but [...]

Here’s how Football and a Brown Undergrad Gave Birth to RI Schoolboy Hockey

2023-04-16T19:25:09-04:00November 15th, 2021|

The New Brunswick campus of Rutgers University is widely recognized as the site of the first college football game in the USA. The Rutgers game, played in 1869 against Princeton (then known as the College of New Jersey), was reported to have more resembled the game of soccer than the “football” we know today. Two [...]

The Long and Lasting Legend of 17-Year-Old Norm Desaulniers

2021-10-23T18:13:44-04:00October 22nd, 2021|

It’s every sports-minded young person’s dream to hit the home run that wins the game…nail the shot that beats the buzzer…score that sudden death goal. The ultimate thrill, however, as improbable as it might be, would be to someday “play in the bigs.” If you grew up in Rhode Island in the early and mid [...]

Greg Britz – the First Bishop Hendricken Player to reach the National Hockey League

2021-07-07T10:07:50-04:00July 6th, 2021|

Bishop Hendricken’s future Hobey Baker Award winner, David Emma, made it to the NHL in 1993, the same year as Steven King, one of the stars of the Providence Bruins’ Calder Cup run in 1999. But there was another Hawk who made it to the big show well before both and few know his name. [...]