Dec. 20, 2002
PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- On December 28, 2002 and January 4, 2003, current and former Providence College hockey players will take part in two special events at the Woonsocket Museum of Work and Culture in Woonsocket, R.I. The "On Frozen Pond: Tom Eccleston's Secret Weapon" exhibit honors Tom Eccleston Jr., Providence College hockey coach from 1956-1964, and the impact Rhode Island has made in the sport of hockey-from last century's frozen ponds to the upper echelons of today's NHL.
On Saturday, December 28 from 1:30 to 3:00 p.m. "Paved With Ice: Providence College, Pathway to the NHL" features former Providence College hockey stars and NHL careerists Bob Bellemore and Paul Guay in conversation with sportswriter and author John Gillooly. In addition, free posters and 50 tickets to the Providence College Friars versus New Hampshire men's hockey game on January 11 will be distributed.
Bellemore '66 is one of the top goaltenders to have ever played at Providence College. Bellemore still holds the career (3.12) goals against average record for the men's team. In his sophomore year of 1964, he helped the Friars win their first ECAC title and their first berth in the NCAA Final Four. While at PC, Bellemore also starred on the baseball team, captaining the squad in his senior year. Bellemore began his coaching career as the part-time assistant men's ice hockey coach and in 1972 he joined Lou Lamoriello's staff as a full-time assistant coach until 1986. In 1986-87, he held the title of Arena Director of Schneider Arena. Bellemore left PC in 1987 to become the goaltending coach for the New Jersey Devils. He returned to PC in 1991 to finish his master's degree and to become the assistant women's ice hockey coach. In 1984, Bob was inducted in the Providence College Athletic Hall of Fame as one of the best goalies to man the Friar cage.
Guay '85 was the first Providence College Friar to become a hockey Olympian. While only playing two seasons with the Friars, Guay made quite the impression upon hockey fans in Rhode Island. He scored 34 goals in his last season as a Friar, topping PC single-season goals list. In just 75 games, Guay scored 57 goals and 48 assists. He was a member of the 1982-83 All-New England squad. After attending the Sports Festival for the 1984 Olympics, Guay made the 1984 Team USA. Guay did not return to the Friar lineup, foregoing his last two years of eligibility to play for the Philadelphia Flyers. He continued his NHL career in Boston, New York, Hartford and Los Angeles, and today is an NHL scout.
On Saturday, January 4 from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m., the public is invited to view the current Providence College women's hockey team as they demonstrate ice-skating techniques to members of the Girls Scouts, who will be attempting to earn badges. In addition, former Friar and Olympic Gold Medalist Sarah DeCosta (W. Warwick, R.I.) will be in attendance. The clinic will take place at the River Island skating rink, which is outdoors and adjacent to the museum. Following the clinic, view the "On Frozen Pond" hockey exhibit and a 10-minute excerpt from the upcoming PBS film of the same name, while enjoying hot chocolate, free posters, and the chance to meet the PC women's hockey team, Head Coach Bob Deraney and Sarah DeCosta.
The "On Frozen Pond" exhibit runs through January 8, 2003 and honors the late Tom Eccleston Jr. and his connections to hockey in Rhode Island. Eccleston became the Friars' fourth coach after spending 23 years at Burrillville High school where he coached teams to the state championships in football, hockey and baseball. In his eight seasons with the Friars, Eccleston's teams had seven winning campaigns, appeared in post season play three times and advanced to the NCAA Finals during the 1963-64 season. The 1963-64 team, one of the College's best, went 19-7-0 on the way to a fourth place finish in the national tournament. Eccleston coached former Friar greats like Lou Lamoriello (PC'63), Bob Bellemore (PC '66) and Larry Kish (PC '64). Lamoriello, who is the all-time winningest hockey coach at Providence College, is currently the President/CEO/GM of the New Jersey Devils. Kish, who was the first Friar All-American, is a Director of Player Personnel for the Columbus Cottonmouths. Eccleston retired following the 1963-64 season as the New England Coach of the Year. He is a member of the PC Athletic Hall of Fame.
"On Frozen Pond" exhibit and special events are free with Museum admission ($6 for adults, $4 seniors - children under 10 free w/adult). The museum is located in 42 South Main St. in Woonsocket, R.I. (401-769-9675).
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