The Massachusetts Hockey community showed up in full force for the most recent 2021 Massachusetts Hockey Hall of Fame ceremony and reception.
Many guests traveled from all over to honor the inductees and enjoy the #MassProud evening on November 10, 2021 at Anthony's of Malden.
The master of ceremonies was Joe Bertagna, Hall of Fame Committee Chair, 2017 Hall of Fame Inductee and current Eastern Hockey League Commissioner.
This 2021 class of inductees included dedicated volunteers, Olympians, professional and amateur ice hockey executives, coaches, players and referees from Massachusetts.
2018 U.S. Women’s Gold Medal Olympians from Massachusetts - Kacey Bellamy, Meghan Duggan, Kali Flanagan & Paul Mara; Tim Burke, Paul Gilmartin, Dave Hoffman, John Rolli, Kevin Stevens & Phil Zona
2021 LEGENDS INDUCTEES:
Ty Anderson, Amo Bessone, Bill Cleary, Sr., Paul Guibord & Bob Priestley
We would love to share with you the video, photos and descriptions of each inductees below.
These are only a few of the many photos from the 2021 Massachusetts Hockey Hall of Fame evening. All photos were taken by Nicole Yandon Photography.
Kacey Bellamy is a winner. A competitor in three U.S. Olympic Games, and eight World Championships, Bellamy won Olympic silver twice (2010 and 2014) and, finally, the gold in 2018. At the World Championships, her squads won gold in seven of the eight years in which she participated. As a professional, Bellamy played in both the Canadian Women’s Hockey League and the National Women’s Hockey League, winning championships in both. Apart from her exemplary international career, Bellamy was a star defenseman at the University of New Hampshire from 2005 to 2009. In three of her four seasons with the Wildcats, she was named to the Hockey East All-Tournament Team, earning Tournament MVP recognition as a senior, a year in which she was also chosen by the nation’s coaches as a first team AHCA All American. She graduated as the third highest scoring defenseman in UNH history. She was also named to the Hockey East 10th Anniversary All-time Team.
Few American women have compiled the legacy of success that Meghan Duggan has over a long and storied career. She captained the 2018 U.S. Olympic Hockey Team to a gold medal in PyeongChang, having previously earned silver medal in 2010 and 2014. In eight World Championships, her U.S. teams won gold seven times and silver once. Intertwined with her starry international career was an equally successful career playing for Mark Johnson at the University of Wisconsin. In her four years in Madison, Duggan was a member of three NCAA championship teams and retired as the career scoring leader for the Badgers. The Danvers native had a particularly fruitful senior year (2010-11) when Wisconsin won the national championship and Duggan was named first team AHCA All-American and winner of the Patty Kazmaier Award as the best player in women’s college hockey. Following Wisconsin, she returned home to play professionally, first for the Boston Pride in the National Women’s Hockey League, and later for the Boston Blades in the Canadian Women’s Hockey League.
One of the most unheralded players in college hockey through three seasons at Boston College, Kali Flanagan earned a spot on the 2018 U.S. Olympic Team, winning a gold medal at the PyeongChang Games in what should have been her senior year at The Heights. She was a two-way defenseman who could spark an offensive rush or stay back in the defensive zone A smart two-way defenseman, Flanagan led a stingy BC defense during her college career but also showed a knack for making a key offensive play when needed. She scored game-tying goals in both the 2017 and 2019 Hockey East Championship Games, the former with just four seconds left in regulation. Overall, she finished her Eagle career tied for most games played in a career (157), missing only one game, in her senior year, to participate in the Four Nations Tournament, she closed her career ranked in the top 10 on the Eagles’ career defender scoring lists: seventh in points (72), seventh in goals (19), eighth in assists (53). She returned to BC after the Olympics for her senior year and then launched a professional career.
Following a 12-year career as a National Hockey League defenseman, Paul Mara found new success as a coach of elite women hockey players. The Belmont native served as an assistant to head coach Robb Stauber when the United States won the gold medal in PyeongChang in 2018 and then, in May of that year, began his professional coaching career with the Boston Pride in the National Women’s Hockey League. As a player, Mara went from the Belmont Hill School to the Ontario Hockey League which prepared him for the long professional career that followed. Drafted seventh overall by Tampa in the 1997 NHL Draft, he followed in the footsteps of his older brother, Rob, who was drafted by the Chicago Blackhawks in 1994. During his dozen years in the NHL, Mara played for x NHL teams: Tampa, Phoenix, Boston, New York Rangers, Montreal and Anaheim. His professional career ended in 2013. His stint with the U.S. Women’s Olympic Team was not his first international hockey experience. He played in three World Junior Championships from 1997-99 and in the 2004 World Championships.
Tim Burke first caught the hockey community’s attention as a defenseman with a booming shot at Melrose High School and the University of New Hampshire. He earned top honors at both schools, making the All-Scholastic Team for coach Henry Hughes at Melrose in 1973 and earning All-American honors for coach Charlie Holt at UNH in 1977. His 138 career points set a record for defensemen with the Wildcats. After a seven-year professional playing career and four years as an assistant to Don “Toot” Cahoon at Princeton, Tim began a long and successful career as a talent evaluator in professional hockey. Five years scouting for the New Jersey Devils were followed by a three-decade stint as Director of Scouting and, currently, Assistant General Manager with the San Jose Sharks. No NHL team has gotten more NHL games from its draft picks since 2003 than the San Jose Sharks and this speaks to how well Tim has done his job.
Paul Gilmartin graduated from Malden Catholic High School in 1961 where he played both football and hockey. He was a member of the 1960 State Championship Hockey Team and captained the team in 1961. Paul continued his education at Merrimack College where he was a member of the varsity hockey team, graduating in 1964. Paul moved to Andover, MA in 1974 and immediately became an integral part of the Andover Youth Hockey Community, where he coached for over a decade. But it was not until 1984 that Paul formed the Valley Hockey League and Valley Associates. During this time Paul had the vision and wherewithal to network with local prep schools, colleges, and friends to provide ice time and alternatives for youth hockey players in the Merrimack Valley and North Shore. Thus, the Valley Hockey League was formed in 1984 with four founding members: Andover, North Andover, Triton and Cambridge. Today the Valley Hockey League is one of the largest leagues in the country with over 800 teams playing in 58 rinks across Massachusetts. Paul’s sons have carried on his legacy and continue to manage the Valley League and the many facilities which house and promote amateur hockey in the region.
Dave’s love for hockey developed on Wight’s Pond in Wellesley and was allowed to shine at the Noble & Greenough School, skating on the Charles River! He played varsity defense for Nobles and was a reserve player at Harvard on the 1956-57 Freshmen Team. After returning from a stint in the US Navy, he and his wife, Sarah, rented in Watertown and moved to Natick in 1968 where he was asked to be an assistant on a Natick Comets Squirt House League team in 1972. He would go on to coach every age level from beginners to Midgets over the years. In the late 70s, Dave was elected Treasurer of the Natick Comets and, soon after, President, where he served several terms. He remains a Board Member today In the 80s he was a District 8 Director and was appointed USA Hockey District Risk Manager. The Risk Management Committee was new and included members from each USAH District. Its mission was to reduce claims and develop the insurance program for players, coaches, referees, and Affiliate organizations. Outside of Mass Hockey, he has served on the Greater Boston Salvation Army Advisory Board from 1982 to present. And remains a Board Member today.
John Rolli coaches 32 seasons at UMass-Dartmouth and won a phenomenal 577 games in that time. Five years after retirement, his 577 wins is still sixth among all NCAA Division III head coaches and 17th among all NCAA men, Division I, II and III. His .709 career winning percentage is seventh among all NCAA coaches. Those wins led him to 27 winning seasons and into the post-season 31 times in his 32 years. His teams won 20 games in 14 seasons, 25 on three separate occasions. No coach in college hockey history enjoyed the run that John had from 1985 through 1999 when his Corsairs posted a combined record of 313-67-10 for a staggering .815 winning percentage. They won seven conference championships and enjoyed 11 seasons of at least 20 wins in this period. Nine of his former players have been enshrined in the UMass-Dartmouth Athletics Hall of Fame. He was named New England Hockey Writers Coach of the Year six times, ECAC Coach of the Year four times and MASCAC Coach of the Year in 2011. A 1973 graduate of Salem State, John taught in the New Bedford school system for 34 years, retiring in 2008.
Kevin Stevens grew up in Pembroke and attended Silver Lake Regional High School in Kingston, playing both hockey and baseball. He was invited to try out for both the Toronto Blue Jays and the Philadelphia Phillies but decided to play hockey for Boston College, and was drafted in the sixth round (108th overall) in the 1983 NHL draft by the Los Angeles Kings. Several months later, his rights were traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins. An All-Hockey East performer at BC, Stevens joined the U.S. National Team and represented the U.S. at the 1987 World Championships and at the 1988 Winter Olympics. Stevens' play steadily improved during his time with the team and in 1987-88 he finished with 45 points in 44 games. Stevens played a few games with the Penguins in the 1987–88 NHL season, then spent the 1988–89 NHL season jumping back and forth between the National Hockey League (NHL) and the Muskegon Lumberjacks of the International Hockey League (IHL). Starting with the 1989–90 NHL season, Stevens became one of the top left wingers and power forwards in the league. Playing alongside Mario Lemieux, he had four consecutive seasons of at least 40 goals and 80 points from 1990–1994 and surpassed 50 goals and 100 points in 1991–92 and 1992–93. His 123 points that year also set a record for the most points by an American-born player and a left wing in one season. During the Pittsburgh Penguins' back-to-back Stanley Cup seasons of 1990–91 and 1991–92, Stevens was the only Penguin to play in every regular season and playoff game. He is also one of four NHL players to have accumulated more than 50 goals and at least 200 PIM in a season. Stevens was sent to the Boston Bruins in 1995 and later played for the Los Angeles Kings and the New York Rangers.
A quiet and humble servant to the game, Phil Zona made his impact behind the scenes for more than four decades. Whether in his dealings with the Mass. Hockey Board or interacting with young children at a rink, Phil always focused on respect for the individual, integrity, pursuit of excellence, teamwork, sportsmanship and simply having fun. His imprint on Milton Youth Hockey and the South Shore Conference will never diminish but his kind demeanor and passion for the game has left a mark that goes well beyond his local programs. Among his contributions to his program were the “Learn to Play” program, implementation of the first “Girls Division” and his tireless efforts to explain the benefits of the ADM to parents and coaches alike. USA Hockey recognized Phil’s contributions in 2016 when it presented him the William Thayer Tutt Award, the top volunteer award given out annually by USA Hockey to a single deserving individual.
Ty Andersen was born in Fredrikstad, Norway, and at the age of four, along with his family, moved to Swampscott, Mass. Ty became an accomplished athlete as a football quarterback and as a shortstop for the baseball team, in addition to his hockey prowess for Swampscott H.S. He spent a “PG” year at the Clark School in Hanover, New Hampshire, and excelled there. However, it was his skill as a hockey player that allowed him to play for the U.S. National Team, the U.S. Olympic team, and later for the Boston Olympics. Ty played for the United States at the 1931 World Hockey Championships and the 1932 Winter Olympics, earning silver in each. Following the Olympics, Ty played semi-professional hockey for 14 seasons, dividing his time between the Atlantic City Sea Gulls and the Boston Olympics. Following his retirement in 1947, he was named Swampscott High School's hockey coach. He coached the team from 1948 to 1972, winning 172 games over 24 seasons.
Amo Bessone was born on Cape Cod, and grew up in West Springfield in the 1920's. Bessone played with his older brother, Pete, who, like Amo, also became a U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame inductee. Amo went on to play defense at West Springfield High School, Kents Hill School and then did a post-graduate year at Hebron Academy in Maine. He joined a group of local high school stars who went to the University of Illinois, playing under the tutelage of Concord-native Vic Heyliger. Following college, he played pro hockey with Providence and Springfield and took time away from hockey to serve as skipper of a PT boat during World War II. After the war Bessone, coached hockey and assisted with football and baseball at Westfield (MA) High School, before starting Michigan Tech's hockey program in 1948. Bessone, who coached three seasons at Michigan Tech before moving to Michigan State in 1951, was one of the most prominent leaders in the days when college hockey was organized, operated and regulated by the coaches. In his 28 years with the MSU Spartans, Amo coached 814 games, and was their longest tenured coach. After years of struggles in East Lansing, Bessone’s perseverance was rewarded in the 1966 season when his “Cinderella Spartans” won the NCAA Championship. Amo retired from coaching after the 1978-79 season. The most valuable high school player in Western Massachusetts receives the Amo Bessone Trophy.
Bill Cleary Sr. was a long-time hockey referee and baseball umpire, who worked countless games in both sports at every level, from high school to professional. He was widely known as a hockey referee, making his debut in 1929, working a pair of GBI League games. He refereed other high school league games, as well as prep school and college games. He also refereed at the professional level, often working hockey games of the Boston Olympics. He officiated in National Hockey League games at Boston Garden, serving as a linesman. Mr. Cleary had the distinct privilege of refereeing the first NCAA Championship hockey game in 1948, which was held in Colorado Springs. The former outstanding athlete at Cambridge Latin High School also, served as an umpire in the New England Baseball League and elsewhere. He was fortunate to be an umpire in Ted Williams’ first at bat in New England in a pre-season exhibition game played at Holy Cross. His sons, Billy and Bobby, starred at Harvard and in the Olympics, and both became outstanding referees in the manner of their father.
Paul Guibord played on a Melrose High School hockey team that won the GBI League title three years in a row. He served as team Captain in his senior year, as well as being named to the GBI All-Scholastic team. He was, also, the league’s scoring leader. He was touted as being the top high school hockey player in New England at that time. In 1946, Walter Brown named Paul as one of the three all-time forwards in the history of Massachusetts high school hockey, joining former Melrose player Leland “Hago” Harrington and Frank Spain from Newton on the list. Following his graduation from high school, he attended Dartmouth College, and was named captain of the hockey team in both his junior and senior years. He became the first college player to record 100 points in a career, totaling 66 goals and 37 assists, including 46 points in the 22-game 1936 season while leading Dartmouth to the Pentagonal League title. He was named a three-time hockey All-American (1934-1935-1936) while at Dartmouth. Paul was selected to play for the 1936 U.S. Olympic team, but he declined due to his college commitment. He was, also, selected for the 1940 U.S. Olympic team, but didn’t get to compete due to cancellation of the Winter Olympics. Following his Dartmouth career, he joined the Boston Olympics for several seasons. Paul was an excellent tennis player in high school, college and throughout his life. An All-American tennis player at Dartmouth in his senior year, he was later voted into the New England Tennis Hall of Fame. In addition to that honor, he was elected to both the Melrose H.S. and Dartmouth College Athletic Halls of Fame.
Bob was born in Melrose, the second oldest of four brothers, who are all members of the Melrose High School Athletic Hall of Fame. He played football and hockey for four years, and baseball and track for two years each. In his senior year the football, hockey and baseball teams were all League Champions. He went on to Brown University and captained the freshman hockey team. Unfortunately, the following season, Brown suspended hockey. Bob’s thoughts were then focused on football. An All-Scholastic football player on Melrose High's undefeated 1937 football team, he was signed by the NFL's Philadelphia Eagles after graduating from Brown in 1942. He caught two touchdown passes for the Eagles in a victory against the College All-Stars and played in nine of the team's games. Following the football season, Bob played hockey for the Boston Olympics, becoming the third member of the family to play for the ‘Pics. Bob was head hockey, football, and golf coach and assistant baseball coach at Norwich University from the early 1950s until he retired in 1979. He coached hockey for twenty-nine years, golf for twenty years, and was head football coach for ten years. He was Norwich's athletic director for 15 years and is a member of the Brown and Norwich University’s Athletic Halls of Fame. A former president of the American Hockey Coaches Association, he retired from Norwich in 1979. Bob was also on the selection committee for the 1980 "Miracle on Ice" US Olympic hockey team.