Earl Roche got his start playing senior hockey in what was known as the Railway-Phone League of Montreal. He skated for the Montreal Bell Telephone team where he led the league in scoring with 14 points in ten games.
In 1929-30, he joined the Montreal Amateur Athletic Association team and helped lead his troops to an Allan Cup victory. His success came on the strength of line chemistry. He had Paul Haynes at centre and his brother, Desmond, on the other wing.
The following year, Roche entered the NHL with the Montreal Maroons. His signing marked the start of an on-again, off-again relationship with the league. From 1930 to 1935, he put in brief stints with the Maroons, the Bruins, the Senators, the St. Louis Eagles, and the Red Wings. Between big-league shows, he played for the Windsor Bulldogs of the IAHL.
After netting 52 points in 149 games, Roche left the NHL to embark on a lengthy minor-league career that landed him in Detroit, Buffalo, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Hershey, Providence, and, finally, New Haven where he hung up his skates for good in 1942.