The Colorado Avalanche won its third Stanley Cup in franchise history and its first in 21 years when it defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-1 Sunday night.
According to Sports Spectrum, the Avalanche previously lost four playoff games and won all four of their series away from home. The team is also the first to win four series with comeback victories in a single season, stopping the Tampa Bay Lightning from winning its third consecutive championship, a feat not seen since the New York Islanders in 1980-83.
"Just to share it with people you love, that's what it's all about," Avalanche star center Nathan McKinnon said after the game. "It's not really about me. It's about sharing it with my teammates and my family. It means everything."
Defenseman Josh Manson, who arrived in a deal with the Anaheim Ducks in March earlier this year, provided some much-needed assistance to his team this season. During Colorado's 20 playoff games, Manson made three goals and five assists. He also scored seven points in 22 regular-season games.
During Game 1 of the Avalanche's second-round series with the St. Louis Blues, Manson scored the game-winning point. He also got his second career postseason goal in the Western Conference Finals and scored in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Finals.
On Sunday night, Manson assisted MacKinnon and fellow trade-deadline acquisition Artturi Lehkonen in the decisive goal following Mackinnon's game-tying point in the second period.
Manson, 30, is a professing Christian who did not surrender his life to Jesus Christ until his mother was diagnosed with Stage 4 melanoma while he was in college.
At the time, he vowed to give his life to God should his mom be healed from cancer, which she ultimately did after four treatments with a trial drug.
"It was a miracle, and God did that," he told Sports Spectrum in a "Best Day Ever" video released earlier this month. "There's no other way to describe it. And I did not fulfill my promise that I made to God months earlier when I found out she had terminal cancer."
Manson later remembered his promise to God after he met the woman who eventually became his wife.
"I knew it from the moment I met her that she was going to be my wife," he explained. "On our second date, she told me that she was a Christian and that she believed in God, and that I would have to go to church with her, and what I did with it from there would be up to me. But I remembered the promise that I made to God."
Manson gave his life to Christ after reading the book More Than a Carpenter by Sean and Josh McDowell.
Manson's faith has continued to grow during his eight seasons in the NHL. In a piece for The Increase last December, he addressed what it's like to be a Christian professional hockey player and how his perspective changed after his first child was born.
"When I held my baby for the first time, I thought, 'Wow, this is how Jesus loves me,'" he wrote. "If my child ever walked away from me and distanced herself, that would make me so incredibly sad. I would want to bring her closer to me. That realization really brought things into perspective for me because I know my Heavenly Father feels the same way about me."
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Matthew Stockman/Staff
Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer. He is also the co-hosts of the For Your Soul podcast, which seeks to equip the church with biblical truth and sound doctrine. Visit his blog Blessed Are The Forgiven.