From the Rock to the Rockies: Alex Newhook becomes 3rd Newfoundlander to win Stanley Cup

Colorado Avalanche players and coaches pose for a photo with the Stanley Cup after their 2-1 Game 6 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Sunday in Tampa, Fla. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

A hockey journey that brought Alex Newhook from the Rock to the Rocky Mountain state of Colorado is already filled with accolades and triumphs — but none bigger than Sunday night’s win that made the 21-year-old rookie a Stanley Cup champion.

The 2-1 win in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup final in Tampa, Fla., means Newhook is now the third NHL player from Newfoundland to have his name etched on the over 100-year-old, and slightly dented, trophy.

He follows in the footsteps of Danny Cleary of Harbour Grace who won the Cup with the Detroit Red Wings in 2008 and Michael Ryder of Bonavista, who won with the Boston Bruins in 2011.

“I’ve already started thinking about the Stanley Cup coming to Newfoundland. I remember last time it was there. I was just a kid and it was amazing. Now I get to do it,” Newhook wrote in a blog post for the National Hockey League shortly after celebrations subsided Sunday night.

“I’m already excited about it. We’ll get some fish and chips going and hit George Street. It’s going to be really exciting.”

Newhook was picked 16th overall by the Colorado Avalanche in the 2019 NHL entry draft. From there he finished a college hockey career stateside with Boston College and split time between the Avs and its American Hockey League affiliate the Colorado Eagles in 2020-21.

Last season marked his first full year playing at the peak of professional hockey, suiting up for 71 games with the Avalanche and tallying 33 points along the way.

Celebrating at home

Back home in St. John’s, the Newhook family glued themselves to the television Sunday, just as they had been doing since the first round of the playoffs when the puck dropped in May.

Paula Newhook, Alex’s mom, said Monday she is still feeling the glee from the late night on Canada’s East Coast.

“As soon as they won, the place went wild pretty much,” she said.

And while Paula and Shawn Newhook weren’t able to be there to celebrate in person, Abby Newhook — Alex’s sister and a budding hockey star in her own right — was.

Abby made her way to the ice to join her brother in celebration, using FaceTime to connect with her parents, family and friends in St. John’s so they could join in on the special moment.

A hockey player swings his stick while skating on ice.
Alex Newhook of St. John’s was drafted in 2019 by the Colorado Avalanche. (John Locher/Associated Press)

“She had us on FaceTime for the entire [time]probably about 20 minutes. It was just amazing,” Paula Newhook said.

“An hour later Alex FaceTimed Shawn and I, and he was out with the Cup with his team, just sort of wanting us to be a part of it all.”

And the Newhooks weren’t alone in celebration Sunday night.

As the time ticked down on the clock and the final buzzer sounded, social media came alive with posts of support from other Newfoundlanders and Labradorians pulling a late night in hopes to see No. 18 pull off the feat.

Those who managed to stay awake were rewarded when the youngster from St. John’s lifted Stanley’s mug above his head and took a short lap around the ice of Amalie Arena.

As for when official Stanley Cup celebrations will land in St. John’s, Paula Newhook said it’s still too early to know.

Each player on the winning team gets to spend at least a day alone with the trophy, and many of them bring the 15-kilogram piece of hardware to their hometowns.

When the schedule gets figured out among the team, said Paula Newhook, Alex will let the province know so residents and fans can start planning local celebrations.

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

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