He did it. Nico Sturm is only the fifth German to triumph in the NHL. He only switched to the new champion a quarter of a year ago.

In the last few seconds, Nico Sturm sent “a quick prayer or two upwards”, after which there was no stopping the German professional of the new NHL champion.

This was followed by hugs, shouts of joy, boundless cheering and the moment of pleasure with the almost 20 kilogram heavy and 90 centimeter tall Stanley Cup in the raised arms on the ice of the beaten and dethroned opponent.

“It’s the hardest thing you can do in your professional life as an ice hockey professional,” said the 27-year-old from Augsburg on Sky after the Colorado Avalanche’s 16th and most important win in the playoffs. “One imagined that it would be an explosion of emotions. At the moment it just feels unrealistic. It will take a few days,” he said.

“Journey to the Top”

Colorado won 2-1 on Monday night at Tampa Bay Lightning, after all the NHL winner of the past two years. With the victory at the rival, the Avs managed the decisive fourth success in the final series in the sixth meeting. “The worst NHL team five years ago completed its journey to the top of the hockey world Sunday night,” wrote the Denver Post. At the end of the 2016–17 season, Colorado was ranked 30th and last in the NHL. The record is devastating: 56 defeats in 82 games.

“It was like watching a video game,” said Erik Johnson at the sporting peak. At 34, he is one of the older Colorado players. He has been playing for Avalanche since 2011 and almost wanted to end his career last year. Captain Gabriel Landeskog was the first to pass the trophy on to him after the triumph for the triumphant, emotional lap of honor. “It’s heavier than I thought it would be,” Johnson commented.

“You don’t want to be the one who drops it,” Sturm commented with a laugh. For him it was a Stanley Cup win in no time. He only moved from Minnesota to Denver in mid-March – with only one goal: “I want to help the Colorado team win the Stanley Cup. I’ll worry about everything else after the season.”

Fifth German Stanley Cup winner

There won’t be much time to think, the party started with the final siren in Tampa and won’t be over any time soon. Helmets flew high in the air, racquets swept across the ice, the gang hugged each other in a huge cheering cluster. “The most beautiful thing is that you can share such moments with the family, my brother and my girlfriend are here. I just want to say ‘thank you’, also to my parents at home, »emphasized Sturm, who was only the fifth German to win the title in the world’s strongest ice hockey league. Before him, only Uwe Krupp, Dennis Seidenberg, Tom Kühnhackl and Philipp Grubauer had succeeded.

National coach Toni Söderholm was correspondingly pleased and congratulated him via social networks on “a fine person and athlete who has earned everything through hard, uncompromising work. Enjoy the Stanley Cup dear @nicosturm7, the holy grail of hockey». There are a lot of good players, including German players, who didn’t get this chance, said Sturm himself. “You have to be lucky to play in such a position.”

The Avalanche, which is to be celebrated with a big parade in Denver on Thursday, retained its 100 percent yield thanks to the success. Every time the team made it to the decisive series for the title, it ended up winning the championship: 1996, 2001 and 2022.