The Colorado Avalanche are back on top of the mountain, and the NHL season is in the books. Plus, the Ole Miss Rebels defied the odds to win the College World Series. Let’s kickstart the week with a pair of trophy celebrations and a look-ahead to Wimbledon.
STANLEY CUP FINALS
Top of the Mountain
Avalanche Take Game 6 (2-1) to Capture 1st Stanley Cup Since 2001
Back on top! The Colorado Avalanche completed a dominant postseason run with a 2-1 win in Game 6 on Sunday to top the Tampa Bay Lightning and win their first Stanley Cup since 2001. The Avs swung the series with Nazem Kadri’s OT winner in Game 4 to take a 3-1 lead. After conceding Game 5, they slammed the door on the Lightning’s three-peat with a Game 6 win last night in Tampa. Here’s how they did it:
How Game 6 Was Won
Riding a road win in Game 5 with hopes of forcing a Game 7, the Lightning got on the scoreboard first thanks to Steven Stamkos’ early strike (3:48 into the game). Nathan MacKinnon answered with the game-tying goal early in the second before assisting Artturi Lehkonen’s score ten minutes later. That 2-1 cushion was all Colorado needed as Darcy Kuemper closed the net — a shutout over the final 56 minutes and change. A late Lightning scramble couldn’t yield a goal, and the Avs poured onto the ice for a celebration 21 years in the making.
Near Postseason Perfection
The Avs went 16-4 in the playoffs after finishing three points shy of the Presidents’ Trophy (119 points). That 16-4 mark is tied for the second-best playoff record in a single postseason in NHL history. Colorado finished the playoffs with a plus-30 goal differential in their 20 games.
Conn Smythe Trophy: Cale Makar
Colorado’s star defenseman Cale Makar (7 points: 3 Goals, 4 assists) earned the Conn Smythe Trophy for playoff MVP. Makar became the third defenseman in NHL history to win the award after winning the Norris Trophy for the regular season. He’s just the seventh defenseman to win the Conn Smythe since 1990.
Three-Peat Struck Down
Tampa Bay’s three-peat hopes came oh-so-close, but their run of 11 straight playoff series wins fell short. It was simply Colorado’s year, but the Bolts dynasty has plenty of optimism that they’ll return.
Back to the Mountain Top
The Avalanche hoisted their third Stanley Cup in team history (2022, 2001 & 1996), and they’re now 3-0 in Stanley Cup Finals appearances. Joe Sakic — the star of the first two title-winning Avalanche squads — built the third one as the GM. And head coach Jared Bednar, who signed a two-year extension two years ago, brought the Avs back to the mountain top after 21 years.
Watch: Avalanche Awarded Stanley Cup (Celebration)
That’s a wrap on the 2021-22 NHL season. Congrats to the Colorado Avalanche!
A Rebel Run for the Ages
Ole Miss Goes From Last Team In to Last Team Standing With 1st Men’s College World Series Title
The Rebels have done it! Ole Miss entered the NCAA College Baseball Tournament as of the last bids — “Last 4 In” — before stunning multiple ranked opponents en route to the World Series finale. From there, they bested Oklahoma in Game 1 on Saturday with back-to-back-back homers that blew it open late (10-3). It was OU’s time to shine in Game 2, but an 8th-inning Rebel rally on Sunday (4-2) gave Ole Miss the program’s first College World Series title.
How the Rebels Did It
Sunday’s Game 2 was do-or-die for Oklahoma, and another late-inning collapse brought their demise. The Sooners led 2-1 after seven innings while pitcher Cade Horton was throwing heat. It looked like OU would force Game 3, but Ole Miss tallied three runs in the 8th, including Jacob Gonzalez’s game-tying RBI before two runners scored on wild pitches. Ole Miss became the first team in 22 years to win a World Series game when trailing after seven innings (LSU, 2000).
The Ole Trophy
Not only was it the school’s first baseball national championship, but the second ever in school history (Women’s Golf, 2021), and in back-to-back years, no less. They’re also the third straight SEC school to win the title, and the trophy will stay in Mississippi for another year after Mississippi State won it last season.
Serena’s Return to Wimbledon
Serena Williams Returns to All England Club for Wimbledon 2022 Kickoff
Tennis fans can celebrate! The third and (arguably) most notable grand slam of the 2022 calendar starts this morning from the All England Club in London, and one of the sport’s biggest names is back on the lawn. Serena Williams — after a year-long absence — makes her return to the place where she’s won seven of her 23 grand slams. She won’t take the court in Round 1 until Tuesday, and World No. 1 Iga Swiatek is still the star to beat. The top players in the men’s draw — #1 Novak Djokovic and #2 Rafael Nadal — are also ready to go. We’ll have a build-up of Wimbledon coverage over the next two weeks until the finals July 9-10.
The dust has barely settled on the clay-court season, but Wimbledon is here.
Today’s Schedule (Matches to Watch)
M: #1 N. Djokovic vs. S. Kwon (8:30 am ET)
M: #5 C. Alcaraz vs. J. Struff (9:15 am ET)
W: #2 A. Kontaveit vs. B. Pera (8:00 am ET)
W: #3 O. Jabeur vs. M. Bjorklund (8:00 am ET)
One day after the Astros no-hit the Yankees, Houston threw seven more hitless innings before the Yankees forced extras (3-3) and Aaron Judge sent a three-run walk-off blast for the win (6-3, 10 innings). No team had ever been no-hit in back-to-back games.
U.S. track star Sydney McLaughlin broke her own world record in the 400-meter hurdles with a 51.41-second race Saturday at the outdoor track and field championships. Her previous record was a half-second slower (51.90 seconds).
Xander Schauffele (-19) was the low man in the Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands on Sunday, besting the field by two strokes. He birdied the 18th to seal the deal and win his first PGA Tour event since 2019.
SOCCER: USWNT Blanks Colombia (3-0)
The U.S. Women’s National Team claimed a 3-0 shutout over Colombia on Saturday behind a brace from Sophia Smith and a goal from Taylor Kornieck in her national team debut. Both teams will play again Tuesday night as the USWNT prepares for World Cup qualifying next month.
The reigning WNBA champs are on a tear, and Courtney Vandersloot made sure to keep the hot streak rolling. Sloot (18 points) sunk a game-winning 3-point buzzer-beater to lift the Sky over the Lynx (88-85) for their third straight win, and they’re now 13-5 — a half-game out of the league lead.
Deshaun Watson’s hearing before the NFL and NFL Players Association’s jointly appointed disciplinary officer, Sue L. Robinson, is scheduled to begin Tuesday, league sources told ESPN on Saturday. (ESPN)
As he’s not so much fearsome as immensely frustrating for opposing pitchers, the best hitter in Major League Baseball today is a guy who basically doesn’t belong in today’s baseball. Meet Luis Arraez… (B/R)
Damian Lillard needs a superstar running mate, so he took a shot. The Trail Blazers sharpshooter make a not-so-subtle pitch on an Instagram story Saturday for Kevin Durant to come to Portland. And the rumors are heating up. (Yahoo! Sports)