Pond hockey tourney founder to be inducted into NH Hockey Hall of Fame

Oct. 13—When pond hockey tournaments began shooting up throughout New England across the new millennium, Chris Brown concept, Why now not create one in Concord?

Considering his place of birth’s hockey historical past — the primary arranged hockey sport within the United States was once performed at St. Paul’s School in 1883 — and group, Brown concept the town would give a boost to his thought.

After the inaugural 1883 Black Ice Pond Hockey match at White Park in 2001, Brown felt assured the town would include the nonprofit, wintry weather carnival-like match as an annual custom.

Brown, 51, who’s making ready for this yr’s twelfth version of the match in January, will be inducted on this yr’s New Hampshire Legends of Hockey Hall of Fame elegance on Sunday, Oct. 23, on the Grappone Conference Center in Concord. Tickets are $40 and that can be purchased via Saturday at nhlegendsofhockey.com.

The former Concord High School participant will be inducted as a builder for growing and organizing the Black Ice match.

“The city embraced it. The people embraced it,” Brown mentioned. “The players and the games are only, I would say, a part of it. We’ve got a youth tournament that’s been developed over the years — getting the next generation of Black Icers potentially someday playing in the tournament themselves. It has truly turned into a community that I couldn’t be more proud of and you couldn’t do it without an army of volunteers.”

Since its inception, the development has raised greater than $550,000 for 15-20 booster golf equipment of sports activities groups at native space prime faculties like Concord High, Bishop Brady, Bow High School and Pembroke Academy.

The match has about 100 grownup volunteers and will get assist from 200-300 adolescence volunteers who’re contributors of highschool groups whose booster golf equipment obtain budget from it, Brown mentioned.

The match options 8 divisions and, for the ultimate six editions, has kicked off with a “Thursday Night Lights” the place 14-18 native adolescence groups scrimmage at the pond.

Jeff Cain, who’s the president of Concord Youth Hockey and coaches the Concord Capitals 11U Premier staff, mentioned right through ultimate January’s Thursday Night Lights that he thinks the match has led to extra children enjoying hockey in Concord. Cain mentioned the Concord Youth Hockey learn-to-skate program’s numbers have by no means been upper, with about 170 children collaborating ultimate yr.

“The tournament itself does a lot to promote the sport,” mentioned Cain, who has performed within the match’s grownup divisions. “Trying to get people that may never have had a chance or may never even thought about playing hockey — include them, get them in the sport.”

Capitals 11U Premier assistant trainer Dave Scott mentioned ultimate January that the match shall we gamers of every age go back to the roots of the sport.

“You’re outdoors. It’s back to what we did as kids,” Scott mentioned.

All those years later, Brown mentioned he nonetheless loves organizing the match each and every wintry weather and needs to be phase of it so long as it’s round.

“I think I just enjoy how people enjoy the event,” Brown mentioned. “It’s just a very unique experience and it gives me chills every year to see how people are coming down and enjoying being part of it.”

This yr’s different inductees are Northeastern University ladies’s hockey trainer Dave Flint, USA Hockey nationwide goaltending trainer David Lassonde, former U.S. Sled Hockey Team assistant trainer Tom Moulton, and the overdue Ryan Frew, the longest-tenured junior trainer from New Hampshire.

The match can even bear in mind the overdue Jay High, a Manchester resident who based the Manchester 40-Plus Hockey League. High, who died at age 81 ultimate month, was once often referred to as the “Voice of JFK” for pronouncing masses of highschool hockey video games at JFK Coliseum in Manchester.

Flint, who’s from Merrimack, constructed the St. Anselm College ladies’s hockey program and coached the staff for 13 seasons prior to taking up at Northeastern in 2008.

Flint led the Huskies to 5 Hockey East match championships, six NCAA match appearances and a 287-137-41 file over his first 13 seasons. He was once named the Division I trainer of the yr for the 2020-21 season, right through which Northeastern fell in time beyond regulation to Wisconsin within the nationwide championship sport.

Outside of school hockey, Flint served as an assistant trainer with the U.S. Women’s National Hockey staff for the 2010 Winter Olympics and the 2008 and 2009 World Championships.

“I have been fortunate to work for and coach against Dave,” University of New Hampshire ladies’s hockey trainer and previous Northeastern participant Hilary Witt mentioned in a remark. “He has had amazing success everywhere he has been. His teams over the years have been skilled, work hard and find ways to win games. I have so much respect for Dave as a coach but more so as a person.”

Lassonde, who performed at Spaulding of Rochester and Providence College, served as an assistant males’s hockey trainer at UNH (1988-91 and 1997-2011), the University of Wisconsin (1991-94), Miami of Ohio (1994-97), the University of Denver (2011-14) and Dartmouth College (2014-20).

Over his time with USA Hockey, Lassonde has coached within the 2022 Winter Olympics and 4 World Junior Championships. He is recently an assistant trainer for the 2022 U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team.

“In addition to being one of the top goalie coaches in the country, David’s versatility in being able to teach all aspects of the game was a huge asset for our program,” mentioned Bob Gaudet, Dartmouth’s all-time winningest trainer and 2018 NH Legends of Hockey Hall of Fame inductee, in an electronic mail. “His background as a teacher is clearly evident when you see him coach. The ice is his classroom and he is always eager to put in the extra time to help one of his players reach the next level.”

Moulton, a Danvers, Mass., local and longtime Seacoast resident, helped the U.S. Sled Hockey Team win its first gold medal on the 2002 Paralympic Games as an assistant trainer. That 2002 staff, which entered the development ranked ultimate out of six groups, was once inducted into the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Hall of Fame in June.

Frew, who died of a unexpected sickness at age 40 in 2020, grew up in Concord and performed on state championship boys hockey groups at Concord High School along Olympic gold medalist and 2004 NH Legends of Hockey Hall of Fame inductee Tara Mounsey. He coached within the New Hampshire Junior Monarchs program from 2004 till his loss of life, serving to the staff win america Hockey Junior National Championship in 2012 and the Eastern Hockey League championship in 2016.

ahall@unionleader.com

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