The Colorado Avalanche came into this year’s NHL season as one of the underdogs, but that didn’t stop them from taking the trophy home. They defeated the defending champions the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 6 on Sunday night to win their first Stanley Cup in over two decades.
This marks the third Stanley Cup win for Avalanche, but making a comeback wasn’t an easy task. They previously lifted the trophy in 1996 and 2001, and it took over two decades to get back in the top form and easily cruise past one of the NHL’s leading teams to win the title again.
The Stanley Cup Finals brought several easy wins to Colorado, but Game 6 wasn’t one of them. Tampa Bay took the lead in the first period thanks to Steven Stamkos’ amazing opener, but Colorado made a comeback thanks to two goals from Nathan MacKinnon and Artturi Lehkonen.
Cale Makar was also one of the game’s shiniest stars. The 23-year-old defenseman walked away with the Conn Smythe Trophy for the MVP of the playoffs after netting 29 points in 20 games. He said it feels “so surreal” to come this far, adding that “there’s nothing better than this”.
Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog echoed his statement, saying the team’s Stanley Cup win comes after “20-plus years of just dreaming and wanting and working for it and just finally coming to fruition after a lot of crazy years and a lot of hard work.”