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USHL Alumni Competing in Stanley Cup Final

06/13/2022, 2:00pm CDT

Eight Alumni Looking to Lift Lord Stanley

The United States Hockey League (USHL) will have an alumnus raise the Stanley Cup for the 19th-straight season at the conclusion of the 2022 Stanley Cup Final between the Colorado Avalanche (12-2) and twice-defending Tampa Bay Lightning (12-5). 

At least one USHL alumnus has lifted the Stanley Cup in 23 seasons dating back to USHL’s first Stanley Cup Champion Gary Suter (Dubuque Fighting Saints, 1981-83) with the 1989 Calgary Flames. 

“The USHL again will have a strong presence with the upcoming 2022 Stanley Cup Final,” said USHL President and Commissioner Bill Robertson. “Our league will be well represented both on and off the ice with Tampa Bay and Colorado battling for the Stanley Cup Championship. We are proud of the continued string of USHL former players and coaches dating back 19 years ago who have hoisted this prestigious trophy. We look forward to an exciting series starting on Wednesday!”

Tampa Bay is looking to do something last seen in the 1980s by the New York Islanders: complete the three-peat. In the Islanders’ case, it was a four-peat from 1980-83. A trio of USHL alumni have been rostered for the Lightning in the Playoffs this year, including forward Ross Colton (Cedar Rapids RoughRiders, 2014-16), who scored the series-clinching goal in Game Five last year. Foote has eight points (5-3-8) through 17 games during the Playoff run this year. Defenseman Cal Foote (Omaha Lancers, 2014-15) has a pair of assists (0-2-2) in 13 appearances and forward Cole Koepke (Sioux City Musketeers, 2016-18) has been a healthy scratch thus far. 

The Lightning are led by a pair of USHL alumni in Head Coach Jon Cooper (Green Bay Gamblers General Manager & Head Coach, 2008-10) and Assistant Coach Derek Lalonde (Green Bay Gamblers General Manager & Head Coach, 2011-14). Cooper could become just the sixth NHL coach to lead his team to three-straight Stanley Cup Championships, joining Hockey Hall of Famers Al Arbour (New York Islanders, 1980-83), Scotty Bowman (Montreal Canadiens, 1976-79), Punch Imlach (Toronto Maple Leafs, 1962-64), Toe Blake (Montreal, 1956-60) and Hap Day (Toronto, 1947-49). In fact, four of the six additional coaches to lead teams to back-to-back Stanley Cups are also members of the Hockey Hall of Fame: Tommy Gorman (Chicago Blackhawks, 1934 & Montreal Maroons, 1935), Jack Adams (Detroit Red Wings, 1936 & 1937), Fred Shero (Philadelphia Flyers, 1974 & 1975) and Glen Sather (Edmonton Oilers, 1984 & 1985 and 1987 & 1988). Blake (Montreal, 1965 & 1966) and Bowman (Detroit, 1997 & 1998) also led teams to separate back-to-back Cups. Cecil Hart (Montreal Canadiens, 1930 & 1931) and Mike Sullivan (Pittsburgh Penguins, 2016 & 2017) are the only two coaches to lead teams to back-to-back Stanley Cups who are not members of the Hockey Hall of Fame. Sullivan is still actively coaching. 

Colton and Foote were rostered for the Stanley Cup run last season and are looking to join fellow USHL alumnus Blake Coleman (Tri-City Storm, 2009-10 & Indiana Ice, 2009-11) as back-to-back Champions in the current Tampa Bay run. Coleman was a member of the first two Cup runs for Tampa and is currently a forward for the Calgary Flames. A trio of USHL alumni were part of the 2004 Tampa Bay run to the Cup as Ben Clymer (Rochester Mustangs, 1995-96), Ruslan Fedotenko (Sioux City Musketeers, 1998-99) and John Grahame (Sioux City Musketeers, 1993-94) all hoisted Lord Stanley that year. 

Colorado is intent on stopping the historic Tampa Bay run and have five USHL alumni who have been rostered throughout the 2022 Playoff run. J.T. Compher (USA Hockey NTDP, 2011-13) has registered seven points (5-2-7) in 13 appearances and fellow forwards Logan O’Connor (Sioux Falls Stampede, 2013-15) and Nico Sturm (Tri-City Storm, 2015-16) have also found the scoresheet with three (1-2-3) points and one (0-1-1) point, respectively. Goaltender Hunter Miska (Dubuque Fighting Saints, 2015-16 & NTDP, 2011-13) and forward Jayson Megna (Cedar Rapids RoughRiders, 2009-11) have been healthy scratches to date. 

Only one USHL alumnus has lifted a Stanley Cup with Colorado, Shjon Podein (Rochester Mustangs, 1986-87) when the Avalanche won it all in 2001.

Stanley Cup Final Schedule

Game 1: Wednesday, June 15, Tampa Bay @ Colorado
Game 2: Saturday, June 18, Tampa Bay @ Colorado
Game 3: Monday, June 20, Colorado @ Tampa Bay 
Game 4: Wednesday, June 22, Colorado @ Tampa Bay 
Game 5*: Friday, June 24, Tampa Bay @ Colorado 
Game 6*: Sunday, June 26, Colorado @ Tampa Bay 
Game 7*: Tuesday, June 28, Tampa Bay @ Colorado
all games scheduled for 7:00 p.m. CT / 8:00 p.m. ET
* if necessary

USHL Alumni - Stanley Cup Champions

Year - Stanley CupChampion USHL Alumni (Team, Season)
1989 - Calgary Flames Gary Suter (Dubuque, 1981-83)
1995 - New Jersey Devils Chris McAlpine (St. Paul, 1988-89)
1999 - Dallas Stars Derek Plante (Madison, 1988-89)
2000 - New Jersey Devils Brian Rafalski (Madison, 1990-91)
2001 - Colorado Avalanche Shjon Podein (Rochester, 1986-87)
2003 - New Jersey Devils Brian Rafalski (Madison, 1990-91)
2004 - Tampa Bay Lightning Ben Clymer (Rochester, 1995-96)
Ruslan Fedotenko (Sioux City, 1998-99)
John Grahame (Sioux City, 1993-94)
2006 - Carolina Hurricanes Erik Cole (Des Moines, 1996-97)
Chad LaRose (Sioux Falls, 1999-01)
2007 - Anaheim Ducks Ryan Carter (Green Bay, 2002-04)
Drew Miller (Omaha, 2002-03)
Joe Motzko (Omaha, 1998-99)
2008 - Detroit Red Wings Brian Rafalski (Madison, 1990-91)
Brett Lebda (NTDP, 1998-00)
2009 - Pittsburgh Penguins Mark Eaton (Waterloo, 1995-97)
Ruslan Fedotenko (Sioux City, 1998-99)
Alex Goligoski (Sioux Falls & Omaha, 2002-04)
2010 - Chicago Blackhawks Adam Burish (Green Bay, 2001-02)
Patrick Sharp (Thunder Bay, 1998-00)
2011 - Boston Bruins Steven Kampfer (Sioux City, 2004-06)
2012 - Los Angeles Kings Davis Drewskie (Des Moines, 2003-04)
Matt Greene (Green Bay, 2001-02)
Trevor Lewis (Des Moines, 2004-06)
Alec Martinez (Cedar Rapids, 2004-05)
Scott Parse (Tri-City , 2002-03)
2013 - Chicago Blackhawks Brandon Bollig (Lincoln, 2005-08)
Brandon Saad (NTDP, 2009-10)
Patrick Sharp (Thunder Bay, 1998-00)
2014 - Los Angeles Kings Matt Greene (Green Bay, 2001-02)
Trevor Lewis (Des Moines, 2004-06)
Alec Martinez (Cedar Rapids, 2004-05)
2015 - Chicago Blackhawks Scott Darling (Indiana, 2007-08)
Brandon Saad (NTDP, 2009-10)
Patrick Sharp (Thunder Bay, 1998-00)
2016 - Pittsburgh Penguins Bryan Rust (NTDP, 2009-10)
Jeff Zatkoff (Sioux City, 2004-05)
2017 - Pittsburgh Penguins Ron Hainsey (NTDP, 1997-99)
Jake Guentzel (Sioux City, 2012-13)
Chad Ruhwedel (Sioux Falls, 2008-10)
Bryan Rust (NTDP, 2009-10)
2018 - Washington Capitals John Carlson (Indiana, 2006-08)
Travis Boyd (NTDP, 2009-11)
Alex Chiasson (Des Moines, 2008-09)
Shane Gersich (Omaha & NTDP, 2012-15)
T.J. Oshie (Sioux Falls, 2004-05)
Nathan Walker (Youngstown, 2012-13)
2019 - St. Louis Blues Mackenzie MacEachern (Chicago, 2012-13)
Zach Sanford (Waterlook 2013-14)
Jaden Schwartz (Tri-City, 2009-10)
2020 - Tampa Bay Lightning Blake Coleman (Tri-City & Indiana, 2009-11)
2021 - Tampa Bay Lightning Blake Coleman (Tri-City & Indiana, 2009-11)
Ross Colton (Cedar Rapids, 2014-16)
Cal Foote (Omaha, 2014-15)

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