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Greater Boston Interscholastic Hockey League History
see below for Bay State Hockey League

I started this page in March 2002 after finding very little online re the GBI .

I welcome your additions from memory, clippings, bios, etc.

Edition of February 2010

My brother, 3 years older,  and I started going to Greater Boston Interscholastic Hockey League (GBI) games in about 1943.

William Cleary (Bill of Harvard's dad) was frequently a referee. The announcer was first class. Popular music of the day was played on loudspeakers. One poignant memory has been the playing of Stan Kenton's "Peanut Vendor" as the teams took to the ice. The old Boston Garden and Boston Arena were exciting, memorable places in those days.

varsity hockey in Harvard's football coliseum circa 1903-1906. Posted here to show how far we've come.

Arlington; Ed Emery 1948 era. Bill Fahey, Paul Coughlin, Bobby Babine 1951 era, 1945-46 era Don Sennott, Jim Coveney, Ike Bevins goal and Jim Fife defense.

Belmont; I can recall Jack Martin and Jack Kelley on the front line, Howie Cummings in goal, Sam Silvia on defense. Others are Herbie Winter, years later I got his jersey number, Wally Flewelling and  Jackie Butts. The '49-'50 team which I joined after a few games had Skip Viglirolo, Red Marsh, Paul Kelley in goal and Owen Cote. For more on my high school go to my Belmont High School Hockey page .

Cambridge Latin; Tony Frasca, Boudreau, Rousseau

Medford; Joe DiBiase, Jack Garrity

Melrose had the Green Street line, named after one dad's backyard rink. Seaver Peters,  John Titus who went on to Dartmouth College and Bob Marsolais who went to Harvard.  Earlier Ed Cahoon was a standout. Others were Dick Lynch, John Grocott 

Rindge Tech had notable players;  Briand, Gagnon, Malhot, Augie Messuri and Jack Murphy .

Stoneham had the ever hustling Manley brothers and Frank O'Grady.

Other leagues:

Winchester, Wellington 'Wimpy' Burtnett,  Ron MacKenzie who went on to Dartmouth and Sherman Saltmarsh.

There would not have been any games for 'the stars' whose names are touted over and over in the Boston area without 'supporting players'.  We dressed in corridors, inconvenient or no showers, had to walk on cement sometimes to the ice and provide our own transportation or 'car pool' to and from the rinks in Boston. The team managers would have to post a watch over our bags when they were left in unlocked dressing rooms or in a corridor.

The ice in the Garden was often paper thin since there had been a basketball game the night before and maybe another that night or a second layer of ice for "Da Broons" (aka Boston Bruins).  In order to squeeze in four games with alternating periods in the allotted time, often the ice was not scraped or rubber pushees cleared between periods until the snow built up. In the first and last games of the day you might have to avoid thin spots where you would lose an edge going through the ice. The referees and rink maintenance guys, aka "pushees", frequently had to work around the goals to clear water, to affix the goal posts or clear snow. The Zamboni was not a universal tool in the early days.

The minor officials should be memorialized for giving their time to do a great job of conducting the games. I appreciate it more after doing the same for years in S. California plus having friends do the same for professional leagues.

In November 2009 John Titus Melrose and Dartmouth emailed me pages of the 1949 AHAUS Yearbook on the 1949 National Junior U.S. Championship of 1949. I have excerpted  information below from the article by Anthony Notagiacomo, Tournament Director.  The tournament had 25 entries playing 24 games in five days between March 29th and Sunday April 3rd 1949. Most games were at the Boston Arena with a few at the Boston Garden. The Belmont Aces had defeated Arlington to win the 1948 Tournament.  In '49 Arlington defeated Belmont 7 to 4 to be the champions. 

Notagiacomo wrote: "all the leagues were well represented, which are the Greater Boston Interscholastic, one of the oldest organized leagues in the world, excepting none: Bay State, Eastern, South Shore, North Shore and Catholic League plus the many schools that are not in any league.".  In those days the games were played in Boston Garden or Arena and had decent press coverage, I recall however that spares as with the AHAUS Yearbook were not listed unless they got a penalty or a point.

From the scoring and penalty stats for the '49 Championship I compiled names per club as follows:

Arlington Arcadians; Keith Barnhill, Bob Coveney, Phil Doherty, Charles Donahue, Jack Donovan, Ed Emery, Jim Fife, Dick Hardin G, Bob Kiniry, Bill Leary, Jack Ray, Bob Wilson

Arlington Hockey Club; Joe Collins, Dave Egan, John Emmons, Warren Lewis, Charles Ling G, Dick Marcy,

Arlington Youth Associates; John Aiken G, Bob Babine, John Cosgrove, Bill Cummings

Belmont;  Paul Kelley '49 goal, Bob Rousseau '47 and James Wycoff defense, Jack Martin '45, Gelotte and John Beeten '47 first line, Skip Viglirolo '49, Ed Robeson, Dick Meehan, Joe Kittridge, Ronnie Butt, Dick Sylvia '49 and Bill Keefe '47.   BHS class noted for those I could find.

Cambridge Raiders; Bob Caty, Jim Duffy, Jim Fitzgerald, Dick Heavern G, Ray Kelley, Jim Mulrey, Dick Pelequin

Lexington; Bud Bieren, Bob Brooks, Bob Copp, Clyde DeWolf, Jack Hansbury, Bob Hosford, John Lowe, Lon MacArthur, Bob Revou, Pete Swanson, Dick Woodward.

Melrose; Dick Baker G, Dick Bean, Fran Connolly, James Connolly, Bob Marsolais, John Titus.

Stoneham Hockey Club; Connie Buck, Dick Burns, Mitch Corbett G, Jack Doyle, Jack Foley, Jack Kelly, Ralph Livingstone, Dick and Marty Manley, Paul Norden, Dave Trenholm

Wakefield Hockey Club: Larry Brennan, Joe Cleveland, Leo Delory, Mike De Vincent, Frank DiBasi, Wendall Haskell G, Len Lamprey, Phil McAuliffe,John Parcillin, Bob Wheeler

Winchester Hockey Club; Don Armstrong, Wellington Burtnett, Scott Connor G, Bill Dingwell, Scott Doub, Don Ellis, Charles Jennings, Frank Livingstone, Dave Merrow, Roy Monson, Sherman Saltmarsh Jr.

Bay State Hockey League

From Dick Tomassini,, Feb 10, 2010

"Three of my brothers and I played for Framingham High School between 1950 and 1960 at the old Boston Arena.  My years were between 1957-1960. All of the teams  always played on Saturday nights  (4 games). In my senior year we ended up in 3rd place with Norwood High. During that era the first three teams in each of the leagues qualified for entry into the State Tourney. We had to have a playoff game with Norwood to decide which team would go to the State Tourney the next day. That game was unusual and here's the story:

By Dick Tomassini

   It was fifty years ago when the Framingham High School Flyers hockey team got tossed out of the Boston arena. The news traveled fast and shocked everyone who had an interest in high school sports. Tossed out? No, not literally, but the flyers lost their bid at going to the State high school hockey tournament when the officials decided that six periods of a play-off hockey game between Framingham and Norwood High School was enough and to break the tie the winner would be decided by the toss of a coin. It was after three periods of regulation play and one overtime period and two sudden death periods of dazzling play with the score deadlocked at 1-1 when the officials decided to consult the schoolboy rule book to decide what steps should ensue to break the tie. According to the book no schoolboy hockey game can go more than six periods, and if the deadlock cannot be broken, the winner will be determined by the toss of a coin. The rule had been instituted the previous season.
   A brief off-ice meeting was called with the rival coaches. The officials explained the strange rule. An announcement was made to the fans. Pandemonium erupted in the arena. In vain everyone protested.  Deaf to all the clamor and protests the referee tossed the coin. One of the Framingham Co-Captains was designated to call the toss. He called heads, but the faded penny landed on the game shredded ice-tails up. Unbelievable! Norwood was declared the winner and qualified to enter the state tournament that was scheduled to start the next day. In disgust the Flyers showered, got on the school bus and headed back to Framingham.  Charlie Crawford, hockey team bus driver for many years, did the driving. In those days all Bay State League hockey games were played at the Boston arena. Charlie tried to cheer up the team, but no one talked: they just sat in silence, shock, and disbelief. A lot was at stake that day and you don’t want to go down by the flip of a coin. They were hungry to be headed for the State tournament--not their final bus ride of the season.
   I still have vivid memories of that fateful day so long ago. I don’t know why I called heads, I just did and without any special reason or superstition. There was so much shock and disappointment on both sides when we were told about how the winning team would be decided. Nobody agreed. In fact, I think even the Norwood players felt uneasy about how they took the victory. Who wants to win an important game-or any game at that-by flipping a coin, especially after six periods of superb hockey play? It would have made more sense and would have been more meaningful if the book spelled out a method that was more consistent with the nature of the game--you know, like a shoot-out--or something like that. That would have taken only a few minutes and would have made the loss a bit easier to accept.  But no, somehow the coin toss got in the book.
   Fifty years have gone by since that fateful day and I don’t know if that rule has ever been used again.   I say get it out of the book and replace it with something more palatable. Hockey players love their game and want to win fair and square by scoring goals, not by a crapshoot?

 Well, in a nutshell, that’s what happened. I think I’ll get over the disappointment some day. Way back then, I used to hear a lot of chatter about the game in the barber shops around town. I had to put up with a bit of harassment too: “You should have called tails and not heads.” That’s what one of my brothers used to say. If I had, how far would we have gone in the State tournament?
Who knows?
    Anybody out there remember this game? Any team mates still around? I’d be glad to hear from you."
Dick (Richie) Tomassini

Framingham sophmore Dick Tomassini scoring winning goal vs Waltham High,Boston Arena.

There was online a page for Malden Catholic's hockey program team history 1937-present.
Where it was noted the Eastern Massachusetts Hockey League, begun in 1923, voted to disband at the end of the 1958-1959 season.
 Dick Tomassini emailed the following:  Circa 1958-9 the Bay State League reconfigured.  Dedham, Milton, and Natick replaced three teams. Presumably coming in from the Eastern Mass League.

There was a
North Shore Hockey League (NSHL) based in the North Shore Sports Arena in Lynn MA.

There was a Metropolitan Boston Tourney.

Email to Joe Nix, additional information for these pages

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