By Kathy Walsh

AURORA, Colo. (CBS4)– It’s playoff time for both the Colorado Avalanche and the Denver Nuggets. On Monday, some of their biggest supporters went out to recruit some of the littlest Coloradans.

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At UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital, about a half dozen Avs and Nuggets wives and girlfriends met a new family eager to cheer for both teams.

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The surprise visit started with a big fuss over a darling, day old baby boy.

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The women showed up with gifts, white beanies with the Avs logo and dark blue beanies with the Nuggets logo.

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“We have a Nuggets hat and an Avs hat for you,” said Isobel Kuchinsky, girlfriend of Avs goalie Philip Grubauer.

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“We’re shamelessly plugging each of our teams,” said Gina Karnisovas, wife of Nuggets general manager Arturas Karnisovas.

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Fan recruitment of Sean and Sarah Vencil and their newborn, Braiden James, quickly followed.

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“Avs game tonight, Nuggets game tomorrow, he’s ready,” said Negah Connelly, wife of Nuggets president of basketball operations, Tim Connelly.

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The Vencils agreed. Baby Braiden entered the world two weeks early.

“He couldn’t miss the playoffs,” said Braiden’s mother, Sarah.

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New dad, Sean, said he has high hopes for both teams.

“I want them to go super far,” he said.

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Isobel Kuchinsky, girlfriend of Avs goalie, Philip Grubauer, admitted games are stressful.

“I get inexplicably nervous, but that’s just me,” she said.

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Seven-pound, 4-ounce Braiden slept through all of the excitement, perhaps dreaming of someday becoming a professional athlete.

“He can play anything he wants,” said Sarah.

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Spoken like a brand new mom, already smitten.

Over the next five days, newborns at all UCHealth hospitals in Colorado will be getting the team beanies. UCHealth is the official health care partner of the Avalanche and the Nuggets.

Kathy Walsh


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