Saturday, September 23, 2023 -
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Mile High high: Avs fans skating on air

Dr. Steve Feldman spoke for all Colorado Avalanche fans while re-living Sunday night’s final seconds in game six of the Stanley Cup Final against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

“We were all counting down from 10 seconds, down to zero,” said Feldman, who hosted a watch party with 10 friends. “We were all screaming and hollering.”

Barbara and Dr. Steve Feldman

They weren’t alone.

From the Avalanche fans who attended the sold-out watch party at Ball Arena to the 4.077 million watching on television (the most-watched Stanley Cup final ever with two American teams), celebration was a long time coming, 21 years after the last Avs’ Stanley Cup championship.

“You’re on pins and needles until the end,” said Feldman, a season ticket holder since the Avalanche moved from Quebec to Colorado for the 1995-96 season.

“Even five years ago, we were rebuilding and last in the league,” Feldman said. “Joe (Avalanche general manager) Sakic has done a great job rebuilding this team.”

Rebecca Paradis, preschool director at HEA, actually got to hoist the Stanley Cup 21 years ago after the Avalanche beat the New Jersey Devils.

Paradis — an avid Avalanche fan who admits that when she was in college, she and her friends would stalk Avs players at a local bar, was a babysitter for former Avalanche star Dave Reid.

HEA Preschool Director Rebecca Paradis with the Stanley Cup in 2001.

When it was his turn to have his day with the Cup — everyone on the championship team has the Cup for a day during the summer following the title, in whatever city they choose, along with any activity they choose — Reid invited Paradis to be part the photo-ops.

“It was neat seeing the cup, up close,” Paradis said. “One of my favorite players was Adam Deadmarsh, and he’s the only one who had his name misspelled on the cup.”

The engraver in Montreal etched in DEADMARCH. Oy. It was later corrected.

(For what it’s worth: the vanquished Lightning have had three names from the Jewish community etched on the Stanley Cup during their previous two championship seasons, including owner Jeff Vinik, assistant coach Jeff Halpern and assistant equipment manager Jason Berger.)

As for the rather tense game six Sunday night:

“It was very exciting,” said Paradis. “By then, I was done with the stress. I was thinking, ‘please be over.’”

It soon was, setting off a cascade of Mile High celebrations. No doubt you heard some fireworks in your neighborhood, too.

Feldman sums up the championship experience.

“You have to put this in perspective,” he said. “Does it affect my life? No.

“But it makes you feel good and it makes the city feel good.

“After what we’ve been through the last few years, this town needed something.”

Copyright © 2022 by the Intermountain Jewish News

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IJN Staff Writer | [email protected]

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