John Gardner '74 (photo), 37-year veteran head coach of boy's ice hockey at Avon Old Farms School in Connecticut, got a lot of media attention for his coaching influence with Stanley Cup MVP goalie Jonathan Quick of the Los Angeles Kings. Quick, who prepped at Avon Old Farms before moving on to Division I UMass Amherst and then joined a Kings' minor league squad before finding a spot on the NHL roster, produce amazing numbers as the Kings, seeded eighth in the West, went 16-4 in the 2012 playoffs. Los Angeles knocked off top-seeded Vancouver, 4-1; second-seeded St. Louis, 4-0; and third-seeded Phoenix, 4-1, to capture the Western Divison title. The Kings then defeated New Jersey, 4-2, to snag the Cup, the first in franchise history. Quick posted a 1.41 goals-against average and a .946 save percentage over the 20 post-season contests to secure the Conn Smythe Trophy.
While a goalie under Gardner, who was inducted into the Wesleyan Athletics Hall of Fame in 2011, Quick helped Avon capture a pair of New England prep crowns. Click < here > to read an article in the New York Times written during the Stanley Cup finals, talking about the connection between Quick and Gardner.