After 22 seasons as one of the top defensemen in the NHL, Ray Bourque's dream of winning the Stanley Cup came true as the Colorado Avalanche dethroned the defending champs New Jersey Devils with a 3-1 victory in Game 7 of the finals.
"It's unbelievable," Bourque said. "It's really emotional. It's tough to keep it together. I couldn't let it go until the end."
Alex Tanguay scored twice and Joe Sakic had a goal and an assist for the Avs, who won only the third finals Game 7 in 30 seasons.
"It's great to be on a team that wins the cup for Ray Bourque," said Sakic. "It's great to be on this team."
"In our hearts and our lives, we were playing for Ray Bourque," said coach Bob Hartley. "I'm remember coaching Ray Bourque until I close my little eyes."
Patrick Roy won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the MVP of the playoffs, the first player to win it three times.
"Right now, I'm just thinking about Ray," Roy said.
The Devils coach Larry Robinson had been 8-0 in the finals as a player, assistant coach and head coach, but that streak ended as Colorado won its second cup in six seasons. They also won in 1996, the season they moved from Quebec.
"I felt very confident going into this game, very confident," Robinson said. "It's 1-0, we took a stupid penalty, it's 2-0 and you are fighting the rest of the game to get back. Stupid penalties, needless penalties. Disciplined teams win championships, and that's one of the reasons Colorado beat us."