Legends to Induct Seven - Honor New England College

Wednesday June 14, 2017

The New Hampshire Legends of Hockey is pleased to announce seven inductees for its 2017 Hall of Fame class.

Shown below is Hobey Baker  (left) with Captain Howell P. Campbell.  Baker was inducted into the Legends Hall of
Fame in 2005. 

The late Maurice Couture, Jim Griffin, Roger Letourneau, the late Wayne Pecknold and the late George Thurston are being inducted as players; Howell P. Campbell is being inducted posthumously as a coach; and Clarence T. Lessard is being inducted posthumously as a builder.


The Class of 2017 will be formally inducted during a luncheon ceremony at the Grappone Conference Center in Concord on Sunday Oct. 22, 2017.


Here is a look at the inductees:


Howell P. Campbell. Campbell played hockey at St. Paul's, captaining the team in 1907, when one of its forwards was Hobey Baker. He later coached the varsity team at the school from 1917-24, missing the 1918-19 season by serving in World War I. He later coached the Isthmian First Team for 17 seasons, through 1941, and he remained assistant director of studies at the school until his death in 1953. The Howell P. Campbell Hockey Award is presented annually to the boy who, throughout the school year, has contributed the most to the spirit and traditions of St. Paul's hockey.


Maurice Couture. Born in Concord in 1913, Couture's playing career for Sacred Heart spanned the entire existence of the team. From 1931-52, he compiled the highest number of goals (119) and assists (115) of any player on the team, and was named captain following Paul Colgan's retirement from play in 1947. Recalled as a marvelous stick handler with the ability to deke opposing players, especially goalies, out of position, he also had a great sense of humor and strong character, and welcomed many new players into the Sacred Heart fold. He passed away at age 86 in Concord on Christmas Day in 1999.

Jim Griffin. A standout youth player growing up in Berlin, Griffin went on to play for two years at New England College -- where he was the leading scorer as a sophomore -- before transferring to Plattsburgh. As a junior, he amassed 33 points as Plattsburgh reached the NCAA Division 2 championship game. As a senior, he recorded 24 goals and 32 assists and again the Cardinals were runners-up to the national champions in Division II.  He was named ECAC West Division 2 playoff MVP that year and finished with 60 goals and 94 assists in 117 college games.

Clarence Lessard. A successful businessman, Lessard provided integral moral and financial support to the Berlin Maroons until his death in 1971, and was heavily vested in other aspects of hockey in town. He served as a director of the Berlin Athletic Booster Club and the Notre Dame Arena Corporation, and served as a mentor to many young players, encouraging them to develop career plans and life goals. In 1974, his contributions were recognized with a plaque dedication at Notre Dame Arena.

Roger Letourneau. A native of the province of Quebec, Letourneau enrolled at Berlin High School in the fall of 1965 and made an immediate impact once he was cleared to play on the school's hockey team the following February. He helped the team win the New Hampshire state championship in 1966, and the state and New England tournaments the following year, getting named New England tourney MVP. From 1968-71, he was a standout player for the Berlin Maroons, compiling 117 goals and 76 assists.  He received training camp invitations from the Boston Braves and Hartford Whalers, and later played for the Concord Eastern Olympics and finally the Concord Budmen through the 1975-76 season.

Wayne Pecknold. The British Columbia native joined the Concord Eastern Olympics in 1967 and played with them through 1973-74, serving as captain over that entire period and was the only defenseman ranking among that team's top 10 in career scoring. He scored an astounding 238 points on 57 goals and 181 assists.  Often times he would coach the team during practices and at times games in Pat Eagan's absence.  A professor of transportation at MIT, where he received a Master's degree and doctorate, he also coached youth hockey in Manchester, where his players included his son, Rand, a Legends Hall of Famer (2016) now the successful coach at Quinnipiac; along with Jeff Serowik and Kyle McDonough. Wayne finished his local career playing for the Concord Budmen.  Wayne Pecknold passed away in 2000 at the age of 60 after a lengthy battle with cancer.

George Thurston. Known as "Mr. Hockey" in Exeter, Thurston - nicknamed "Fuzzy" -- learned to skate and play hockey on the Exeter River. A strong, hard-hitting defenseman despite his slight build, he was a standout player for the Amesbury Maples senior team for decades, playing his last game in 1969 at the age of 66 for the Amesbury Alumni. He was invited to be part of a "Boston Olympic Team" that traveled to Europe in 1932 for a two-month hockey tour that saw them win 23 of 24 games against national teams across the continent. Later in his career, he served as the UNH varsity coach for one season and began refereeing games in 1953, continuing for many years.


New England College

The Legends will also recognize the history both the men's team and women's team at the ceremony this October.  The first varsity men's team began in 1969-70 and was coached by Leo Callahan.  The women's varsity team began in 2001-02 and was coached by Michele Selzer.

To kick off the Alumni hockey weekend there will be a NEC varsity scrimmage at 10:00 am you can watch at the Lee Clement Arena with other campus activities and potential skate over the weekend.  Contact Head Coach Tom Carroll tcarroll@nec.edu or John Lineberry john@lineberrytennis.com

Sign-up today for the golf outing and social on Saturday October 21 which is being held at the Beaver Meadow Golf Club in Concord beginning at 11:00 am with a high noon start. The cost is $100.00 per player and includes a steak-tip dinner which follows the action.  Fees must be received by October 16th and can also be paid with PayPal.  Make your own foursome or we can match you with other Pilgrims.

On Sunday October 22, the Legends will begin the day with a social hour at 11:30 am followed by the luncheon and induction ceremony which begins around 1:30 pm.  Tickets must be purchased by October 15th and can be done through PayPal.  We will take an alumni group photograph on stage after the event and hope we have well over 50 New England College alumni in attendance.  Please pass this email to alumni friends who maybe didn't receive and we'll see you in October.  Contact Executive Director Jim Hayes '75 if you have any questions about the ceremony hayes743@comcast.net

Shown Below.  Last fall former members of New England College Men's Hockey team in attendance were:  Front Row L to R: Jim Peabody; Duncan Matthews; Mark Sullivan; Coach Leo Callahan; Joe Massakowski; Bill Whittemore and Jake Mulligan.  Back Row L to R:  Bob Tappan; Jay Jones; Gerry Drypolcher; Marty White; Jim Hayes; Brian Stone; Travis Banga and David Higgins.  Missing from photo, current Head Coach Tom Carroll.

This will be a great weekend of NEC camaraderie and fun! Please stay tuned for additional details on both NEC events.

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