Francis “Buddy” Chambers exploded onto the Stoneham
High School hockey landscape as a dazzling, lightning-in-a-bottle
freshman for the 1951-52 season.
As an eighth grader the previous year, Chambers had
set numerous records for the Spartans undefeated junior Suburban Hockey
League champions. Thus the advance report from The Stoneham Independent
sports columnist (and Hall of Famer) Frank Burns opined that a club with
Buddy centering the second line might be elevated to contending status
in the highly competitive GBI. “If he clicks, the club might go places,”
wrote Burns in his pre-season analysis. His words proved prophetic. With
Buddy pivoting the second line, the Spartans defeated Medford in their
season opener - the first SHS season opening victory since the Cliff
Thompson GBI champion squad of 1937. Chambers’ solid regular season was
merely a prelude to his sensational performance in the playoffs.
Chambers was named to the All-New England tourney
team, the first freshman ever so honored. GBI champions, MET finalist,
and New England consolation round winners over West Haven (CT.), the
Spartan skaters were feted at a Town Hall gala attended by parents,
fans, classmates, and luminaries of the hockey world such as Boston
Bruins star Bill Quackenbush. Buddy established himself as the team’s
most prolific offensive weapon as a sophomore, tying for the league lead
in goals, while finishing third in overall scoring and being named to
the GBI All-Star team. The Spot Ponders claimed back-to-back GBI
championships for the first time since 1936-37. Unfortunately, due to
illness in his family, it would prove to be the highlight of Buddy
Chambers’ final varsity hockey season. In just two seasons his legend
became firmly etched in Stoneham sporting lore. A shooting star that due
to circumstances beyond his control left the stage far before his time.
Buddy currently lives with his wife, Carol, in
Woburn and they have 5 children.