One, Two, Three Punch
There have been many outstanding scoring lines in Rhode Island schoolboy hockey history though the 1960's going as far back as the Mount St. Charles trio of Rudy Roy, Jerry Cabana and Paul Gagnon in 1944-45 (when Canadians were performing for the Hilltoppers). Tom Eccleston's Burrillville teams had the nifty passing of Jim White, Pep Bernard and Ed Allard of 1948-49 and Ed Zifcak, George Keeling and Bill Menard in 1951-52. Later a line of Howie Laporte, Bob Karmozyn and Bill Rogers in 1958-59 turned in some stellar play for the Broncos. La Salle Academy, under coach Lou Cimini, had Bob Reale, Jim Duffy and Bob Sweeney in 1949-50 and the 1953-54 group of Bob O'Connor, Jack Blair and Jim Ford. Their best may have been the 1960-61 trio of Roger Guillemette, Dan Sheehan and Bill Warburton.
Cranston East coach Howie Crins had an excellent line in 1959-60 with Ed Stahowiak, Lee Hathaway and Herbie Kaufamn but the one that stands out among all his lines was in the mid 1960's. Center #12 Joe Cavanagh and #15 Rich McLaughlin and #18 Dan DeMichele on the wings were a swift-skating, slick skating and high scoring trio. They made eight first team All-State selections between them in three years (1963-64 to 1965-66). They led the 'Bolts to two state championships and three division titles as well as the 1966 New England crown. Cavanagh won the R.I. Interscholastic scoring title in all three of his varsity seasons. DeMichele and McGlaughlin finished second and third respectively in their last two seasons.
On their ability, Eccleston put it best when he said, "each of them could be tremendous as an individual player. But they are so completely unselfish the opposition doesn't know what they are going to do, where they are going to go and who is going to finally shoot." All three took the Ivy League hockey route. Cavanagh and DeMichele headed to Harvard while McLaughlin skated for Brown.