Nathan MacKinnon reaches the Stanley Cup Final
Former Halifax Mooseheads great and Cole Harbour, NS native Nathan MacKinnon has reached the Stanley Cup Final for the first time in his career. The 26-year-old MacKinnon scored a pivotal goal and registered seven shots on goal as his Colorado Avalanche edged the Edmonton Oilers 6-5 in overtime on Monday night to sweep the NHL’s Western Conference Final.
MacKinnon has contributed 11 goals and seven assists for 18 points in Colorado’s 14 postseason games that has seen the team post an incredible 12-2 record in series wins over Nashville, St Louis and Edmonton. They will now await the Eastern Conference winner from the series between the NY Rangers and the two-time defending Stanley Cup Champion Tampa Bay Lightning.
The playoff success comes as no surprise to Mooseheads General Manager Cam Russell who felt it was only a matter of time.
“The bigger the challenge, the better he plays,” Russell said.
“I always think of him and Seth Jones in the Memorial Cup and all of the pressure that came along with going head-to-head with him, but that only fueled Nate more. He took his game to a whole new level and you can see him doing the same this year with Colorado.”
With MacKinnon punching his ticket to the Cup Final he becomes just the seventh Mooseheads alumni member to do so, following in the footsteps of goalie J-S Giguere, forwards Marc Chouinard, Alex Tanguay, Brad Marchand and Jonathan Drouin and defenceman Joey DiPenta. Giguere won the Conn Smythe trophy as the playoff MVP in a losing effort in 2003.
|Alex Tanguay||Colorado Avalanche||2001||Won Championship vs New Jersey|
|J-S Giguere||Mighty Ducks of Anaheim||2003||Lost Championship to New Jersey|
|Marc Chouinard||Mighty Ducks of Anaheim||2003||Lost Championship to New Jersey|
|J-S Giguere||Anaheim Ducks||2007||Won Championship vs Ottawa|
|Joey DiPenta||Anaheim Ducks||2007||Won Championship vs Ottawa|
|Brad Marchand||Boston Bruins||2011||Won Championship vs Vancouver|
|Brad Marchand||Boston Bruins||2013||Lost Championship vs Chicago|
|Jonathan Drouin||Tampa Bay Lightning||2015||Lost Championship vs Chicago|
|Brad Marchand||Boston Bruins||2019||Lost Championship vs St Louis|
|Nathan MacKinnon||Colorado Avalanche||2022||?|
MacKinnon’s Halifax Mooseheads career spanned two seasons and saw him pile up 214 points in 136 games between the regular season and playoff combined. He scored a hat trick and added two assists in the Memorial Cup Final vs Portland to help the Mooseheads win their first CHL title in 2013. A little more than one month later, he became the first overall selection by Colorado in the NHL Entry Draft.