The Colorado Avalanche defeated two-time Stanley Cup champions the Tampa Bay Lightning in the finals of the 2022 NHL Stanley Cup in Tampa, FL on Sunday night.
The Avalanche beat the Lightning 2-1 in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals behind a goal and assist by Nathan MacKinnon. This is the Avalanche’s third Stanley Cup championship since moving to Denver in 1995-1996.
Once the Avalanche won and Lord Stanley was hoisted, the championship gear was immediately made available online at Fanatics and their website are offering free shipping over $24 with code 24SHIP.
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- Colorado Avalanche Fanatics Branded 2022 Stanley Cup Champions Locker Room T-Shirt – Heathered Charcoal – $39.99
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- Colorado Avalanche Fanatics Branded Home 2022 Stanley Cup Final Breakaway Custom Jersey – Burgundy – $209.99
- Colorado Avalanche Fanatics Branded 2022 Stanley Cup Champions Fundamental Adjustable Hat – Black – $23.99
- Colorado Avalanche Fanatics Branded 2022 Stanley Cup Champions Signature Roster T-Shirt – White – $37.99
- Colorado Avalanche Fanatics Branded 2022 Stanley Cup Champions Locker Room Long Sleeve T-Shirt – Heathered Charcoal – $44.99
Additional information from Associated Press:
The Colorado Avalanche are back on the hockey rink after dethroning the two-time defending champion.
After a goal and assist from Nathan MacKinnon, the Avalanche won the Stanley Cup for the third time in franchise history and for the first time in more than two decades by defeating the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-1 in Game 6 last Sunday night .
It is the first title for this core group led by MacKinnon, captain Gabriel Landeskog, Mikko Rantanen and Cale Makar, and years of playoff disappointment follows. The Avalanche has lost in the second round for the past three seasons after being eliminated in the first round in 2018.
“It feels incredible,” MacKinnon said. “Some tough years got in the way, but it’s all over now. We never stopped believing.”
With a mix of speed, high-end talent, and the experience gleaned from those losses, Colorado broke through this time — and earned every chunk of the championship by beating the team that had clinched the trophy for the past two years has hoisted. As expected from the Avalanche, it wasn’t easy.
After an early turnover from Makar that led to Steven Stamkos’ goal that put them in a hole and several more bumps and bruises, the Avalanche equalized when MacKinnon took down 2021 playoff MVP Andrei Vasilevskiy with a near-perfect shot defeated Artturi Lehkonen and took the lead by another big goal at the close of trade. They wrapped things up by holding the puck and not even letting Tampa Bay shoot the puck at Darcy Kuemper in the third period.
When they did, he was there. Kümper, brought on in a move from Arizona last summer to cement the sport’s most important position, was solid again, making his most important save with less than seven minutes to go when he slipped over talented winger Nikita Kucherov.
Much like the Lightning went all-in multiple times, trading high-draft picks and prospects to win the best shot at the cup, Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic wasn’t afraid to make an effort in March, to bring in Lehkonen, defenseman Josh Manson and a veteran forward Andrew Cogliano. They became the perfect complement to Colorado’s core, which had shown a lot of playoff promise and had yet to produce a championship.
Sakic, who managed Colorado’s first two title-winning teams in 1996 and 2001, used a well-known recipe to get his team over the hill. Much like Pierre Lacroix, the architect of the Avalanche teams that have found so much success after the organization moved to Denver, Sakic placed great emphasis on skill, speed and versatility.
That speed overwhelmed every opponent along the way, from a first win in Nashville, through a hard-fought six-game streak against St. Louis, to another win in Edmonton and then Tampa Bay, preventing elimination once but ending with two Siege fell short of becoming the NHL’s first three-peat champion since the New York Islanders dynasty in the early 1980s.