June 11, 2017
By Dan Colleran
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — University of Notre Dame graduates Ian Cole and Bryan Rust helped the Pittsburgh Penguins win the 2017 Stanley Cup, marking the second consecutive Stanley Cup for Cole, Rust and the Penguins.
On Sunday night, Pittsburgh defeated the Nashville Predators 2-0 to win game six and take the series, four games to two. Cole, Rust and the Penguins became the first team to repeat as Stanley Cup Champions since the Detroit Red Wings won in 1997 and 1998.
“Getting to hoist the Stanley Cup is something very few hockey players ever get to experience,” Irish head coach Jeff Jackson said. “Bryan and Ian having the opportunity to do so in back-to-back years puts them into an elite category and we’re so proud of their accomplishments.”
Cole, a 2009 All-American defenseman with the Irish, turned pro after his junior season but came back to the University and finished his degree in 2013. In 25 postseason games in 2017, he notched nine assists.
Rust, a 2014 graduate, played in 23 playoff games this season, posting seven goals and two assists for nine points. He had a goal and an assist in the Stanley Cup Final series.
Last season, Cole and Rust became the fifth and sixth former Notre Dame hockey players to lift the Stanley Cup. Now, the pair becomes the third and fourth alums to win multiple Stanley Cups, joining Bill Nyrop with the Montreal Canadiens (1976, 1977 and 1978) and Don Jackson with the Edmonton Oilers (1983 and 1984).
Other former Irish players to lift the Stanley Cup include Brett Lebda with the Detroit Red Wings (2008) and Mark Eaton with the Penguins (2009). In addition, as the Senior Vice President/General Manager of the Chicago Blackhawks, Notre Dame alum Stan Bowman was part of Stanley Cup Championships in 2010, 2013 and 2015.
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Dan Colleran, associate athletics communications director at the University of Notre Dame, has been a part of Fighting Irish Media since August 2015 and coordinates all media and publicity efforts surrounding the Notre Dame hockey and golf programs. A native of Walpole, Massachusetts, Colleran spent the previous three years working with the men’s hockey and soccer programs at Providence College. Colleran also spent two years as an Assistant Executive Director of Communications & Championships at the Ivy League and is a graduate of Providence College (’06 & ’08G).