CRANSTON (WPRI) – The Rhode Island Hockey Hall of Fame enshrined five new members Saturday night as part of its 2022 class. The ceremony was held in person for the first time since 2019 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Founding chairman Vin Cimini said this class is, “among the most accomplished our state has produced.”
The Class of 2022 inductees are Bob Bellemore, Harvey Bennett Jr., Robbie Gaudreau, Tom Mellor and Ralph Warburton.
Bellemore was a goaltender at LaSalle and Providence College. He backstopped the Friars’ first ECAC championship and Final Four title bid in 1964. After his playing days, he went into coaching. Bellemore organized and coached Smithfield’s first high school hockey team and served as an assitant coach for the Friars. He became the longtime goalie coach for the New Jersey Devils of the National Hockey League. He then returned to Providence the women’s goaltenders coach for 19 years, earning the nation’s assistant coach of the year award.
Bennett Jr. led Cranston East to the state and regional championships, starred at Boston College and played for five different NHL teams during his professional career. He represented Team USA twice in international play, alongside his brother Curt. Curt and his father Harvey Sr. are both members of the Class of 2018.
Gaudreau is the all-time goals scorer at Providence College. He tied the single-season goals record with the Friars. The Bishop Hendricken alumnae was an All-American, New England Player of the Year and a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award in 1991. He joins his father Bob, a 2021 inductee, in the Rhode Island Hockey Hall of Fame.
Mellor was an All-American at Boston College, where he now has his jersey retired. He played for Team USA three times, taking home a silver medal at the 1972 Olympics. He played professionally in the NHL for the Detroit Red Wings and later for an International Hockey League, where he was named MVP.
Warburton went from a star at LaSalle to captain of the Dartmouth College team. He led Dartmouth to the NCAA title in the 1940s during the team’s 47-game unbeaten streak. He became Rhode Island’s first Olympian, scoring 16 goals in the 1948 Games.
Also being honoored, Tom Mellor’s father Bob. The 101-year-old received the Chace Award for his contributions to the sport. Mellor co-founded the CLCF hockey program.
With the five new additions, the Hall now has 37 members.