Jul 1, 2022 - Sports

Denver is the new Hockeytown, USA

The Avalanche victory parade at Civic Center Park on Thursday.
The Avalanche victory parade at Civic Center Park on June 30. Photo: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Hat tricks are one of the most exciting feats in hockey, and Denver just pulled off one for the ages.

Driving the news: Crowds flooded the streets on June 30 for the Avalanche's Stanley Cup parade — the Avs' first title since 2001 and Denver's third hockey championship since March.

Fun fact: The Avalanche and Pioneers became the first teams from the same city to win the Stanley Cup and NCAA D-I titles in the same year since 1972 (Boston University and the Bruins).

What they're saying: "You're getting the best athletes at a young age wanting to play hockey — and it's a beautiful thing to see," says Denver East coach John Kopperud, who thinks the Avs' recent rise is having a trickle-down effect.

  • He may have a point: This past season, a record number of youth played hockey in Colorado, per AP.
  • A similar phenomenon occurred in the 90s: The number of USA Hockey players registered in the Denver region more than doubled in the six years between the Avs' first (1996) and second titles (2001).
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