Stanley Cup 2022: Colorado Avalanche top Lightning to claim third title

TAMPA, Fla. — The Avalanche are back on top.

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According to The Associated Press, Colorado defeated the two-time defending champions, the Tampa Bay Lightning, 2-1 on Sunday to claim the Stanley Cup for the third time in history.

The Game 6 victory came after years of early postseason exits for the Avalanche, who were eliminated in the second round in 2019 through 2021 and the first round in 2018, the AP reported.

“It’s just been building over time. ... It was just all leading up to this,” said MVP Cale Makar, who was awarded the 2022 Conn Smythe Trophy. The 23-year-old defenseman logged eight goals and 21 assists in the postseason, the Tampa Bay Times reported.

The Avalanche, who also won the title in 1996 and 2001, will celebrate with fans Thursday in a parade in downtown Denver, the team tweeted overnight.

The Lightning, who fell short of capturing their third consecutive Stanley Cup, also took to Twitter to congratulate their opponents, calling the Avalanche’s win “well-earned.”

“‘Twas a heck of a series,” the tweet read.

– The Associated Press contributed to this report.