Five USHL alumni won the Stanley Cup Wednesday night as the Tampa Bay Lightning repeated as Stanley Cup Champions with a 1-0 win over the Montreal Canadiens, becoming the first back-to-back Champions since the Pittsburgh Penguins (2016 & 2017).
Players Blake Coleman (Tri-City Storm, 2009-10 & Indiana Ice, 2009-11) and Ross Colton (Cedar Rapids RoughRiders, 2014-16) lifted Lord Stanley in front of the Tampa Bay home crowd to close out the series 4-1.
Coleman earned his second Stanley Cup Championship in as many seasons after collecting 11 points (3-8-11) in 23 Stanley Cup Playoff games this season, including a highlight reel diving goal in Game Two. Colton, who made his NHL debut earlier this season, tallied six points (4-2-6) in 23 Playoff games. Colton scored the lone goal in Game Five, becoming the third USHL alumnus to score the series-clinching goal, joining Alec Martinez (Los Angeles Kings, 2014) and Ruslan Fedotenko (Tampa Bay Lightning, 2004).
Tampa Bay forward Cal Foote (Omaha Lancers, 2014-15) made his NHL debut this season and finished the regular season with three points (1-2-3) in 35 games and did not appear in the Playoffs.
With Coleman and Colton lifting the Stanley Cup, the USHL has had at least one alumnus win the Stanley Cup for 18-straight seasons, including multiple alumni in 16 of those seasons.
Behind the bench, Lightning Head Coach Jon Cooper and Assistant Coach Derek LaLonde each were crowned Stanley Cup Champions for a second time. Cooper is now one of only 18 NHL head coaches all time to win multiple Stanley Cups and one of only 12 NHL Head Coaches to win the Stanley Cup in back-to-back seasons. The former Green Bay Gamblers General Manager and Head Coach (2008-10) has the second-best Playoffs winning percentage among those multiple-Cup winning coaches (.647), trailing only Hockey Hall of Fame member Scotty Bowman (.657). Cooper’s winning percentage is fifth among all NHL Head Coaches with at least 100 Playoff games coached (634 games, 384-197-53). LaLonde, who took over as Gamblers General Manager and Head Coach (2011-14) after Cooper, has served as a Lightning Assistant Coach for three seasons now. Cooper (2010) and LaLonde (2012) each led the Gamblers to Clark Cup Championships.
USHL alumni serving as members of the Tampa Bay Stanley Cup winning staff also include Assistant Equipment Manager Josh Famularo (Youngstown Phantoms, Equipment Manger, 2015-16), Director of Player Personnel John Rosso (Sioux Falls Stampede, Director of Scouting & Player Development, 2008-10), Video Coach Brian Garlock (Green Bay Gamblers, Video Coach, 2008-10), and Scouts Stephen Gionta (USA Hockey NTDP, player, 2000-02), Tony Hrkac (Madison Capitols, Assistant Coach, 2014-15) and John Burkart (Green Bay Gamblers, Scout, 2008-11).
The Montreal Canadiens Stanley Cup Final roster featured three USHL alumni, including forward Cole Caufield (USA Hockey NTDP, 2017-19), and defensemen Jeff Petry (Des Moines Buccaneers, 2005-07) and Jon Merrill (USA Hockey NTDP, 2009-10).
Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the 2020-21 season will be the USHL's 19th season as the nation's only Tier I junior hockey league. The USHL had 51 players selected at the 2020 NHL Draft, marking the third-straight season with 50-or-more USHL players selected in the Draft. More than 800 league alumni are currently on NCAA Division I rosters, further establishing the USHL as the world’s foremost producer of junior hockey talent.
Tag(s): Top Story