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Ron Anderson, Richard Pion elected to Merrimack Hall of Fame
Former Merrimack head coach Ron Anderson and former forward Richard Pion have been elected to the Merrimack Athletics Hall of Fame Class of 2023. They’ll be joined by Kerri Bergquist (‘13, Field Hockey) and Isaiah Voegeli (‘13, Football) as inductees.
There will be an induction ceremony on Oct. 6 in the Hall of Fame Lobby at the Merrimack Athletic Complex. There are also plans for Anderson and Pion to be honored at a Merrimack men’s hockey home game this upcoming season.
Anderson was the head coach at Merrimack from 1983-98. He led the program through its transition to Division I and entry to Hockey East in 1989. Anderson’s teams won the ECAC Division II Championship in 1987, 1988, and 1989. Anderson also led the program to its first Division I NCAA Tournament in 1988, when the Warriors qualified as an independent at-large entry. Pion was an integral player on all of those teams.
Anderon’s 1988 team — led by Pion and fellow Merrimack Hall of Famers Jimmy Vesey and Jim Hrivnak — shocked a heavily favorited Northeastern team in the first round before falling to eventual national champion, Lake Superior State.
The 1988 series against Northeastern was one of the most memorable series in the history of the program. Northeastern won the Beanpot and Hockey East championships. A two-game, total-goals format determined the winners of those series. Merrimack lost the first game 5-3 and fell behind 3-0 in the second game, which created an 8-3 deficit with just two periods to play. The Warriors won the series 10-8 after scoring seven straight goals in less than two periods, including five goals in the third period. Mark Ziliotto scored the game-winning goal (he also had a hat trick). Pion scored the final goal of the Northeastern series.
Merrimack beat Lake Superior State, 4-3, in the first game of the NCAA Quarterfinals but the Lakers won the second game, 5-1, and won the series, 8-5. Lake Superior State defeated Maine in the NCAA Semifinals and defeated St. Lawrence in the National Championship Game.
Anderson’s final season was 1997-98. The school unceremoniously opted not to renew his contract and announced the decision in February, before the season ended. Anderson’s players rallied around their coach and stunned the No. 1 team in the nation, Boston University, on the road in the Hockey East quarterfinals to earn its first trip to Hockey East semifinals at TD Garden (then called the Fleetcenter).
BU was led that season by Chris Drury and Tom Poti.
Anderson has the most wins in program history. He joined the Chicago Blackhawks in 1999 as an amateur scout and is about to enter his 23rd season with the organization. He served as Director of Player Recruitment from 2008-19 and, since 2020, has been a senior advisor for player recruitment. Anderson has had his name etched on the Stanley Cup three times while with the Blackhawks (2010, 2013, 2015).
Pion played for the Warriors from 1985-89. He’s second all-time in scoring only behind fellow Hall of Famer Jimmy Vesey. Pion appeared in 124 games and scored 103 goals, adding 128 assists for 231 points.
After graduating from Merrimack in 1989, Pion played seven seasons in the IHL, mostly for the Peoria Rivermen; he was inducted into the team’s Hall of Fame in 2004. Pion finished his career with seven seasons in the QSPHL, last playing for the Granby Predateurs in 2002-03.
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