Lovejoy ’06 wins Stanley Cup with Pittsburgh Penguins
From the moment Ben Lovejoy ’06 stepped on the ice for the Big Green, it was clear he had the ability to play at the next level. Although he was not drafted upon graduating Dartmouth, Lovejoy worked his way through the minor league hockey ranks and eventually secured his first National Hockey League contract in 2008.
On June 12, the 6-foot, 2-inch defensemen from Orford, NH reached the pinnacle of the professional hockey world by helping the Pittsburgh Penguins secure their fourth Stanley Cup in franchise history by defeating the San Jose Sharks in a competitive six-game series. Throughout the playoffs, Lovejoy was lauded for his ability to combine a high skill level while still logging many minutes on the ice.
“He played quite a few minutes for the Penguins this year, especially down the stretch and in the playoffs,” men’s hockey head coach Bob Gaudet ’81 said. “So I think his strength and endurance coupled with his high skill level were just fabulous for Pittsburgh this year.”
In the decisive sixth game of the series against the Sharks, Lovejoy came up big when it mattered most by playing an almost perfect game from a defensive perspective.
“I thought in Game 6 against the Sharks he played a flawless game,” Gaudet said. “It’s pretty rare for a defenseman to do that. I watched very closely and Ben just didn’t make any mistakes. So I think his ability to play within himself and use his physical strength helped him do a great job.”
While at Dartmouth, Lovejoy showcased a similar skillset to what all of America was able to witness during this year’s Stanley Cup final.
“Ben was just a wonderful defenseman while he was in Hanover,” Gaudet said. “I think what he had was a really good skill level and the ability to play a lot. I think what made him a special player was his skill level and his incredible physical engine. He had a lot of strength and a lot of endurance and was an excellent skater.”
Lovejoy’s success is not something that is ignored by the current iteration of Dartmouth Hockey. Recently-minted captain Carl Hesler ’18 spoke highly of Lovejoy’s recent success.
“Seeing a Dartmouth alum win the cup was incredible and reminds us how lucky we are to play for this school and the opportunities that await after our college careers are over,” Hesler said.
Defensemen Tim Shoup ’18 echoed Hesler’s sentiment on what Lovejoy’s Stanley Cup victory means to the team.
“It means a lot to the boys,” Shoup said. “It’s pretty special to see one of our own win it, especially because no one from Dartmouth [had] played in the [Stanley Cup] Finals and won. I mean, you spend four years here and it becomes your home and for one of our own to bring the cup is amazing. It is promising for the boys as well and shows us that any of us could make it far and bring another cup back to Dartmouth.”
Hesler, Shoup and the rest of the Dartmouth community will be able to see the Stanley Cup trophy first hand when Lovejoy brings it to Thompson Arena on August 1. It is a tremendous gesture from a player who became the first person from New Hampshire to win the Stanley Cup in history.
“It’s really neat that he’s giving back to the community by bringing the cup back to Hanover,” Gaudet said. “It’s going to be at Thompson Arena on August 1 so that’s going to be great for kids in the community and students on campus. It’s really the most iconic trophy in all of sports and will eventually have Ben Lovejoy’s name on it which is very special.”
For his fine play this year and throughout his solid 10 year NHL career, Lovejoy recently signed a three-year, $8 million contract with the New Jersey Devils this offseason. The former Dartmouth standout will hope to invigorate Devils’ defense and hopefully capture his second Stanley Cup in as many years.