Jun 27, 2022 - Sports

Colorado Avalanche wins Stanley Cup for first time in 21 years

The Avalanche's Nathan MacKinnoncelebrates scoring a goal in the second period of Game 6 on Sunday. Photo: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
The Avalanche's Nathan MacKinnon celebrates scoring a goal in the second period of Game 6 on Sunday. Photo: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

"Find a way." That's what the Colorado Avalanche said throughout the playoffs. On Sunday night, they did.

What to know: The Avalanche won the Stanley Cup — the greatest trophy in pro sports — with a 2-1 victory on the road against the two-time defending champion Tampa Bay Lightning.

  • In a sport of lucky and luckless bounces, they made us sweat, taking it to Game 6.
  • Still, Mac hit full throttle. Artturi fired like an assassin. Landy was the rock. Kuemper redeemed himself. And Baby Cale dazzled and defended.
  • One dynasty fell to the next.

The big picture: The Avalanche hadn't won a Cup in more than 20 years, with the previous two coming in 2001 and 1996.

Why it matters: Just when we needed it most, the Avs delivered for Denver, a proud, sports-loving town experiencing a major championship drought since the Broncos won the Super Bowl in the 2015-16 season.

BFD: Three hockey titles, at three levels, in one year for one city.

What's more: The city rallied around the Avs like never before.

This week, however, the streets were awash with burgundy and blue. The team's signature colors even splashed the DIA flight boards to greet travelers.

  • Thousands upon thousands watched inside Ball Arena.

What they're saying: In 2021, the Avs won the Presidents' Trophy for the best NHL record and appeared destined for a title, but fizzled in the second round.

So this one meant a lot.

  • "It's been almost 10 years since Denver's had a championship, and 20 years since the Avs have won," fan Brian Henry said on his way to a game.
  • "So everyone wants something to bring us together."

The bottom line: Nothing good comes easy, but this win is one we can all relish after a few no-good years.

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