(Left to right) John “Bud’’ Purcell, 83, Walter Greeley, 82, Joe Morgan, 83, Jim Campion, 82, and Dick Rodenhiser, 81, had lunch together on Jan. 15 in Framingham. The group played in the first Beanpot Tournament on Dec. 26 in 1952 for their respective Boston colleges and now gets together every year before the tournament.
“We grew up in the golden age of hockey in Boston,’’ Greeley said.
“[T]here was a sheet of ice at every corner in Walpole,’’ said Morgan, who played for Boston College but did not play in the first Beanpot because he had just signed with the Boston Braves, said of his childhood. “I’d be out there until 8 at night, working on my stick-handling.’’
Pictured: Purcell, captain of Northeastern’s 1952 Beanpot team; Greeley, team captain at Harvard; and Morgan, former Red Sox manager, at lunch.
Greeley is pictured in his Harvard hockey days. Greeley made the goal that allowed Harvard to advance to the final game in the first Beanpot and was eventually named MVP of the tournament after scoring three goals in the 7-4 championship win over Boston University.
Campion, who played for Northeastern, remembered that “the games were the first day after Christmas and I was a commuter and I didn’t want to go to Boston. It was such a surprise.’’ Northeastern lost to Boston University in the first round.
Rodenhiser, a BU star, would go on to play for Team USA in two Olympic games.
Morgan, Campion, and Rodenhiser were pictured at lunch.
Purcell is pictured in his college days as a Northeastern hockey player. After graduating from Newton High School, where he played football, Purcell hadn’t planned on going to college, much less playing hockey once there.
“Hockey made my life,’’ he said. “And if I hadn’t gone to college, I’d probably have been a day laborer.’’
None of the men expected the “New England Hockey Invitational,’’ the name of the first tourney, to turn into something as big as today’s Beanpot.
“Look what it’s blossomed into,’’ said Rodenhiser.