Nathan MacKinnon scored once and assisted in the tiebreak, making the Colorado Avalanche raises the Stanley Cup in Tampa, Florida, on Sunday after a 2-1 win over defending champion Lighting.
Colorado took the best-of-seven series in six gameswinning Games 1 and 4 in overtime and Game 2 in a 7-0 blowout.
The Avs had failed to complete the home ice championship in Game 5 on Friday before gaining the upper hand at the Amalie Arena.
“To see all these warriors fight just feels incredible,” a overjoyed, exhausted MacKinnon told ABC. “Words cannot describe how I feel right now.”
While giving a post-game interview, MacKinnon shared a hug with teammate Andrew Cogliano, who told him “87”.
MacKinnon explained how confident he felt after landing in hotel room No. 1787, reminding him of his old friend, mentor and comrade Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia, born Sidney Crosbywearing jersey No. 87 for the Pittsburgh Penguins.
“We both love Sid,” MacKinnon said. “We just knew we were going to win when I got that room number.”
After 20 minutes of play Sunday night, it looked like a Game 7 in Denver was possible when Tampa Bay star Steven Stamkos gave his team an early 1-0 lead.
MacKinnon equalized early in the second period before feeding Artturi Lehkonen for the game winner midway through the second period.
It is the third Stanley Cup to be won by the Colorado franchise with roots going back to the formation in 1972 as the Quebec Nordiques of the old World Hockey Association. The Avalanche won it all in 1996, their first season in Denver, and then again in 2001.
It’s been a long journey to the pinnacle of hockey for Colorado, which is the… NHL’s Worst Record in 2016-17†
“As a former player and all, you know how happy they are” [the players] and how relieved they are to have the chance to finally win the Stanley Cup,” said Colorado General Manager Joe Sakic, an Avs star on the 1996 and 2001 title teams.
Colorado’s win on Sunday kept Tampa from its . to conquer third title in a rowa feat most recently delivered by the New York Islanders, who had a four-year term from 1980 to 1983.
Winning three consecutive titles in one of North America’s four major professional sports is a rarity.
Baseball’s New York Yankees (1998-2000) and basketball’s Los Angeles Lakers (2000-02) were the last to complete this feat in their sports, and no football team has ever won three consecutive Super Bowls.
The Green Bay Packers won the first two Super Bowls, on January 15, 1967 and January 14, 1968, and the final NFL Title of the Pre-Super Bowl Era†
The end of the NHL season also completed the 28th consecutive campaign in which: a Canadian franchise failed to lift Lord Stanley’s famous chalice as champions of the North American league dominated by Canadian players.
The last team north of the border to win it all was the Montreal Canadiens in 1993. Seven of the league’s 32 teams are based in Canada, theoretically giving the Great White North a 1-on-5 chance to win a Stanley Cup winning player. team.