RI Hockey Legacy

Click here to edit subtitle

Hooray For Hollywood

Beyond the Colorado Front Range is a strange land of beaches and sun that was once a hotbed of big-time college hockey.  In the 1930's several former Rhode Island high school and amateur stars headed 3000 miles West to swaying palm trees and sunshine at the campus of the University of Southern California to continue their hockey careers.  Netminder Joe Roberts (Classical) was the first captaining USC in 1933-34.  Howie Smith (Warwick) and Nat Harty (Commercial) followed in 1935-36.  Rugged Sid Lovitt (Hope) left the Inter-City Amateur Hockey League at the Auditorium and became a Trojan in 1939-40 after a season with the Hollywood Athletic Club.  However, the most successful player to go westward was La Salle's outstanding goalie Clem Harnedy.  He was considered the finest goalie in the country and guarded the Trojan nets form 1939-40 to 1941-42.  USC played at the Tropical Ice Gardens; a huge outdoor, all-year ice rink and the Polar Palace in the Southern California Hockey League.  Smith, Harty and Harnedy would all continue playing in the SCHL and PCHL after finishing up at USC.  All five players would get parts in Hollywood pictures including King of Hockey (1936) and The Game That Kills (1937).