Local legends named to RI Hockey HOF 2022 class


It’s ironic – as well as fitting – that the Rhode Island Hockey Hall of Fame’s Class of 2022 will be enshrined inside one of the state’s most hallowed halls.

Ageless and famed Rhodes-on-the-Pawtuxet – which has hosted countless extraordinary events for decades upon decades - will be the site of the prestigious group’s induction ceremony on Saturday, Aug. 20.

 Vin Cimini, who founded the RI Hockey Hall of Fame, noted during the Class of 2022 announcement that “the new inductees-elect are among the most accomplished hockey players out state has produced. Aside from their professional careers and play representing the nation, they each earned legendary status on the ice at their respective schools.”

Moreover, as the RIIHOF Fame leader - is a former ice hockey standout – emphasized: “Each member of the Class of 2022 has brought honor and glory to their city/town, state and nation.”

Thus, the Class of 2022 is: Cranston natives Ralph Warburton, Tom Mellor and Harvey Bennett, Jr. as well as Rob Gaudreau who once starred at Bishop Hendricken High School in Warwick.

The Class of 2022 is rounded out by Bob Bellemore, who once ranked among the nation’s all-time best fast-pitch softball players who starred at La Salle Academy and Providence College and backstopped the Friars’ to their first ECAC championship Final Four NCAA title bid back in 1964.

 Bellemore, who organized and coached Smith field High School’s first hockey team, also served as an assistant coach with the Friars under the legendary Lou Lamoriello and became the long-time goalie coach for the NHL’s New Jersey Devils. He returned to PC to coach the Lady Friars’ goaltenders for 19 years and has been honored as the nation’s “Assistant Coach of the Year” in women’s ice hockey.

Upon the former inductions on Aug. 20, the number of honorees will total 37 and as Cimini noted last week “We are all excited about being about to have a live induction dinner and having it at Rhodes; tickets are now on sale on our website

The popular Hockey Hall Chairman, who is highly-respected in the game as well as this state’s public relations-advertising community, also offered brief biographies about Warburton, Tom Mellor, Harvey Bennett, Jr., and Robbie Gaudreau.

RALPH WARBURTON: The former La Salle great captained Dartmouth College to the NCAA title during its famous 47-game unbeaten streak in the 1940’s then became RI’s very first Olympian scoring a remarkable 16 goals in the 1948 Games at St.-Moritz before lading the RI Scarlets to our state’s first National Amateur Hockey championship later that year. He was previously honored by the Hall of Fame in 1028 as the first Malcom Green Chace Award recipient for lifetime contributions to the game.
TOM MELLOR: Tom graduated from Cranston’s CLCF youth hockey program his father Don co-founded and starred at the Northwood School in Lake Placid, NY before earning All-American honors at Boston College where his retied jersey hangs in the rafters of Conte Forum. He played for Team USA on three occasions taking home a Silver Medal in the 1972 Olympics before joining tine NHL’s Detroit Red Wings. He ended his hockey career being named MVP of the International Hockey League in 1977.
HARVEY BENNETT, JR: Harvey is member of one of the state’s most famous hockey families, He led Cranston East to the RI state and New England championship before starring at Boston College and playing for five NHL teams in his pro career. He twice represented the USA in international play with his brother Curt, who he will join along with his Father Harvey Sr., who are both charter member of the Hockey Hall.
ROBBIE GAUDREAU: The decorated Bishop Hendricken grad tied the finale-season goals scored at Providence College and later earned All-American honors. He was also New England Player of the Year and a finalist in 1991 for the Hobey Baker Award as the USA’s best collegiate player. He also scored the most goals of any Rhode Island to ever play in the NHL. He will join his father r Bob Gaudreau, Class of 2021, Hockey Hall.
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