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Monday, August 8, 2022

Avs win comes in same year as Denver East HS hockey championships

The Denver East High School hockey team won both the state and national championships earlier this year.

DENVER — Watching the Colorado Avalanche win the Stanley Cup Sunday, 17-year-old Zeke Romero knew exactly how the players felt. 

“When you finally bring it home, it’s just a different type of excitement that you have. It’s more like a pride,” the rising high school senior said. 

A pride he shares with the Avs — since he helped bring the USA Hockey National Championship to Denver East High School earlier this year. 

“We are the hockey town,” his teammate Joseph Capra said. “We earned that. We got that pedigree. It’s not Detroit anymore. It’s not somewhere in Minnesota. They don’t win championships like us.”

The kids on the Denver East Angels didn’t grow up in a hockey town; they hadn’t been born when the Avs last won the Stanley Cup in 2001. 

“They were really bad and they were just struggling every single year,” Capra said. 

But his team knows what it’s like to have a breakout season. 

“We came out and pretty much just dominated,” teammate Nick Chadd said. “It was kind of a blur. I haven’t taken it all in until now.”

“It was definitely cooler than watching the Avalanche, but that’s just me personally,” Capra said. 

But seeing the Stanley Cup come home to Colorado was also pretty exciting for this lifelong hockey fan. 

“Just smiles and euphoria for about an hour and a half,” he said.

Romero said he couldn’t stop jumping with excitement as he watched the pros win the Cup.

“It proves that we’re growing in hockey as a state,” he said. 

Now they just have to keep it that way — and not wait another 21 years for a championship win. 

“Definitely not. Hopefully next year,” Chadd said.

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