May 30, 2012

Cup finals chock full of Hockey East alums

By Jesse Connolly

Hockey East will be well-represented in the Stanley Cup finals, as six former players will be competing in the looming series between the Los Angeles Kings and New Jersey Devils, which begins Wednesday night at Prudential Center.

Los Angeles Kings

Kings defenseman Rob Scuderi won a national championship while at Boston College in 2001. (Getty Images)

Vezina Trophy finalist and Conn Smythe favorite Jonathan Quick (Hamden, Conn.) leads the way for L.A. The Kings netminder is 12-2-0 this postseason and holds the league lead in goals-against average (1.54) and save percentage (.946). Quick spent two years at UMass under coach Don "Toot" Cahoon from 2005 to 2007. He appeared in 37 games during his sophomore season, going 19-12-5 with a 2.16 goals-against average before turning pro.

Dustin Penner spent one year (2003-04) at the University of Maine before joining the Ducks’ AHL affiliate in Cincinnati the following season. He had 23 points in 43 games during his lone year in Hockey East. Thus far in the playoffs, the Manitoba native has 10 points in 14 contests. He scored the series-clinching goal in overtime of Game 5 in the Western Conference finals to eliminate Phoenix.

Defenseman Rob Scuderi was a member of the Boston College Eagles for four seasons (1997-2001) before joining the Penguins, who drafted him 134th overall in 1998. Scuderi won a national championship with BC in 2001 and helped Pittsburgh capture the Cup in 2009. The 33-year-old veteran ranks second among Kings d-men at plus-8 in the playoffs.

Jack Ferreira (Providence, R.I.), who spent three years as a netminder at Boston University (1963-66) is a special assistant to Kings GM Dean Lombardi (Ludlow, Mass.). Steve Greeley (Scituate, Mass.), a pro scout for Los Angeles, played in 77 games for the Terriers from 2000 to 2004.

New Jersey Devils

Stephen Gionta had 32 points in 39 games for BC during his senior season in 2005-06. (Getty Images)

Defenseman Mark Fayne (Sagamore Beach, Mass.) had a strong four-year run at Providence College. He was a semifinalist for the Walter Brown Award in 2010, given annually to the top American-born college hockey player in New England. Fayne has three assists in 18 postseason contests for the Devils and a solid plus-5 rating.

Both Peter Harrold and Stephen Gionta played at Boston College from 2002 to 2006. Gionta joined the Devils organization as a free agent and had spent majority of his tenure with the team’s AHL affiliate up until this season. After scoring his first NHL goal in the regular season finale, the 5-foot-7 winger has been an unsung hero on New Jersey’s fourth line, chipping in seven points in 18 games.

Harrold, meanwhile, came to New Jersey this season after five years in the Kings’ organization. He spent 61 games with Albany and had 26 points. Thus far in the playoffs, the Ohio native had four assists in 14 games.

Scott Lachance, who went on to play in 819 NHL games after spending one season at BU (1990-91) is a member of the Devils’ scouting staff, as is former Northeastern coach and longtime Bruin Fernie Flaman.

Former Providence Friar Chris Lamoriello is the senior VP of hockey operations for the Devils, while former PC netminder and longtime Devil Chris Terreri serves as the team’s goaltending coach. At the top of the organization, of course, is Hockey East’s founding commissioner and former PC coach and player Lou Lamoriello (Providence, R.I.), who serves as CEO, president and GM of the Devils.

Jesse Connolly can be reached at Follow him on Twitter at @JesseNEHJ.