DENVER (CBS4) – The Colorado Avalanche expect big things from recently-signed forward Ryan O’Reilly. Over a decade ago they got plenty from another young Av — Alex Tanguay. He was in town earlier this week with his new team, the Calgary Flames, and CBS4’s Gary Miller caught up with him to relive one of the best moments in Avs history.
The date was June 24, 2001, and Tanguay remembers it like it was yesterday.
“I remember coming to the rink mid-afternoon and there was already people lined up outside, the party was already going on,” Tanguay said. “From the time we stepped on the ice for warm up to the time the game started, nobody went down, there was cheering the whole time. It was great.”
And nobody was greater that night than the 21-year-old Tanguay. In Game 7 with the Stanley Cup on the line Tanguay scored the first goal of the game against the New Jersey Devils.
“It was a great forecheck by Danny Hinote and then I got myself with the puck around the net and just went around and tried to put the puck on net,” Tanguay said. “It fortunately went in and I got excited. I think Ray Bourque and Adam Foote were chasing me. I don’t know, I blurred out all the way until I got to the bench.”
And then, incredibly, young Tanguay did it again. This time off a rebound off Joe Sakic’s shot.
“From the faceoff I just chased down and they had one guy that changed and he tried to catch me from the bench and I had a step on him and was able to maintain it all the way and it was an open net,” he said. “I was just hoping not to miss the net at that time.”
He didn’t miss and the Avs went on to win their second Stanley Cup. They won that game 3-1 with Tanguay scoring two of the goals. The fans were ecstatic, including a young boy in Canada who loved the Avs.
“My parents I think were out of town and I had a babysitter or something. I remember sitting on the chair with a big bowl of popcorn on my legs when Tanguay scored the first wrap-around and I jumped up and the popcorn went everywhere,” Avs forward Matt Duchene said. “So I remember it pretty vividly.”
Duchene was only 10 years old at the time.