To illustrate this argument, take the example of LA Kings netminder Ben Scrivens, and his wife, Jenny, who were both ice hockey goalies – Ben for the men and Jenny for the women – at Cornell University in upstate New York, where they met.
Seems like a perfect example of fate, right?
“Actually it’s a pretty big coincidence, we didn’t set out searching for that. We ended up meeting at school and hit it off,” explains Ben, an Edmonton, Alberta native. “We just met through the general campus life stuff. Everyone eats in the same dining hall and we met there. We saw each other at a party or two early on and went from there.”
It was on the first day they met that they realized each was the goalie for their respective hockey teams, and as if that wasn’t coincidence enough, it was also that day that they realized they both shared the same jersey number, 30.
A year later, during their sophomore season, Ben and Jenny both won the Eastern College Athletic Conference Goalie of the Week Award in the same week.
“His teammates cut out the article from the school paper and posted it in one of the shared rooms between the men’s and women’s dressing rooms in the rink,” recalls Jenny.
This was the beginning of what seems like a perfect, fateful partnership for the college sweethearts, one that saw them marry in the summer of 2012, after being together for six years.
One of the questions the couple fields frequently is whether or not Jenny actively offers Ben pointers after a game.
“I wish,” exclaims Jenny, who values her own experience in her husband’s profession, but doesn’t abuse it. “I think if I was able to give him goalie advice I’d have a coaching job in the NHL by now.”
“We don’t talk hockey at all,” Ben admits. “Honestly, we don’t even watch hockey that much, we’ll watch documentaries on other stuff.”
Earlier this year when Scrivens was traded to the Kings from the Toronto Maple Leafs with Matt Frattin in exchange for Jonathan Bernier, the couple was naturally shocked.
Shock soon turned to excitement, especially for Jenny, who is a native of Camarillo, a town about 50 miles north east of STAPLES Center.
“She’s from the area, so it’s nice for her to come back and spend some time where she grew up and has her hockey roots,” Ben says.
For Jenny, those Los Angeles hockey roots run deep.
“I grew up a Kings fan and my older brother played for the Junior Kings, so putting on a Kings hat and jersey to cheer for Ben is pretty special,” concedes Jenny, whose two brothers are frequent visitors to the South Bay home she shares with Ben.
Jenny is now part of the couple’s SoCal hockey contribution as she is a volunteer coach for the Lady Junior Kings 12 and under team.
“When Ben and I got settled in LA after the move, I reached out to the coach of the team, who coincidentally coached my older brother years ago,” says Jenny, who coaches the two goalies. “It’s so much fun coaching the girls. They are very coachable and have such great attitudes because they’re just here to have fun. I gained so much playing hockey as a kid, I can only hope to give back to the sport in some way.”
While his wife reacquaints herself with her hometown, Ben is thoroughly enjoying his time in LA with his new teammates.
“The weather is great, the guys on the team are a great group of guys, and we’re a tight-knit group,” says Ben. “For Fratty and myself, it was our challenge to fit into this group as soon as possible, and having a good group of guys makes that pretty easy.”
“There are a lot of benefits down here over Toronto or upstate in New York, and we’re still getting our bearings over here as we’ve only been here a couple months,” continues Ben, who visited LA only once before moving here.
Despite all the good things about LA, there is one thing about this city that perhaps falls below most others.
“Jen told me about the traffic numerous times,” Ben declares, laughing.
Traffic is something that Jenny probably finds herself stuck in more than Ben, as she works for a PR agency in West Hollywood.
“The last year we were in Toronto, I was in a post-graduate program for PR,” Jenny explains. “Fortunately, Ben was traded during the summer and I was able to stay to finish my classes. Once we heard about the move, I started to reach out about potential job opportunities in LA.”
With everything falling into place for the former Cornell goaltenders, one has to wonder whether having little goalies of their own is something they’ve thought about for the future.
“That’s a long ways into the distance,” Ben says, chuckling.
But if it were to happen, wouldn’t that be a coincidence?
Or maybe it would be fate.
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