Daniel K. Stuckey II
Perhaps the highest accolade any hockey player can receive is one from an opponent – especially an opponent who gathered many accolades himself.
“Our biggest concern was the Tiger’s first line of Dan Stuckey and the Sloan brothers, particularly Dan Stuckey.” Those are the admiring words of Jack Riley, who also said, “I had the highest respect for him. That Princeton line was the best we played against.”
Jack Riley and Dan were Ivy League rivals back in the early 1940s-Dan at Princeton University; Jack at Dartmouth College. Jack later went on to play on the 1948 US Olympic team (St. Moritz) and also coached West Point hockey and the 1960 US Olympic team that won gold at Squaw Valley.
Dan, meanwhile, forged his own niche in the sport. He grew up in Exeter, NH, on the campus of Phillips Exeter Academy, where his dad was a teacher. Dan enrolled there in 1933, excelling both academically and athletically. Often described as an exceptional athlete, he earned varsity letters in hockey, lacrosse and football, graduating in 1937.
Later, that fall, he was on campus at Princeton University studying the Classics and playing freshman football. When winter arrived, he played hockey; in the spring it was lacrosse. As a sophomore, he was a regular on the three varsity teams. In his junior year, Princeton won the Ivy League hockey title and Dan was named All-Ivy League, an honor he received three consecutive seasons. In his senior year, he was hockey captain and in one memorable 4-2 win against Harvard he scored four goals. In Dan’s 50 career games, Princeton won 28, lost 18 and tied 4.
Also during his senior year, the Princeton lacrosse team was undefeated and won the 1942 national title, with Dan receiving All America Honorable Mention. He graduated in 1942 and with World War II in progress immediately went into the US Navy, serving as a Lieutenant aboard a destroyer – USS Niblack (DD 424).
Discharged in 1946, he joined the faculty at Hebron, ME Academy to teach Latin and to coach hockey, football and track. Also at that time, he began graduate studies at Harvard College. In 1948, he joined the Classics Department at St. Paul’s School in Concord, NH. That year, he almost became a teammate of Jack Riley’s on the ’48 US Olympic team. Dan was selected but family obligations forced him to decline. His eldest son, Peter, had been born less than a year earlier.
By 1950, Dan owned his masters degree in history from Harvard and in 1958 became head of the Classics Department at St. Paul’s. That year also was the beginning of a nine-season stint as St. Pauls’ head hockey coach. He also coached football for three seasons.
During those years in Concord, Dan regularly was in the lineup for the famed Sacred Heart amateur hockey team, and in the 1950- 51 season, in nine games, scored 19G – 16A – 35 P. That season, Sacred Heart lost in the New England AHA quarterfinals to Dedham, MA, 4-3, in overtime. Dan had all three goals.
In January of 1952, he worked a deal with his good friend, Walter Brown, to bring the US Olympic Team-soon bound for the Oslo Games-up to Concord for a pair of exhibition tilts to help defray team travel costs. The two games-versus Sacred Heart and St. Paul’s-netted $900.
During his sabbatical year of 1957-58, Dan studied and taught at his alma mater, Princeton University. He also served there as assistant hockey coach for both the varsity and freshmen teams.
From 1967 through 1971, he served as athletic director at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, ME and was a co-founder of the New England Small College Athletic Conference, which still exists.
In 1971, Dan became assistant principal and alumni director at Phillips Exeter Academy, ending up where he had started. He retired in 1983, to Castine, ME, where 10 years later he died at age 73.
He and his widow, Madeline, had three sons: Peter, John and Mark.