June 13, 2016
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — Notre Dame hockey Monogram winners Ian Cole and Bryan Rust have reached the pinnacle of professional hockey by helping lead the Pittsburgh Penguins to the 2016 Stanley Cup Championship.
With a 3-1 win over San Jose on Sunday night in game six of the Stanley Cup Final, Pittsburgh captured the 2016 Stanley Cup.
“One of the great rewards of coaching is following your former players pursue their dreams in hockey and in life,” Notre Dame Head Coach Jeff Jackson said. “Having your name engraved on the Stanley Cup is the ultimate prize in our great sport.”
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 Pittsburgh’s 3-1, game four win in the Stanley Cup Final, he opened the scoring with his first career NHL postseason goal.
Rust, a 2014 graduate, had a breakout playoff performance for the Penguins. He was the game seven hero in the Eastern Conference Championship series against Tampa Bay (May 26), scoring both goals on as the Penguins clinched a place in the Stanley Cup Final with a 2-1 win over the Lightning.
“Ian and Bryan have had the unique opportunity to realize a dream they’ve probably had since they were kids,” Jackson continued. “They have had similar paths, having grown up in Michigan rooting for the Red Wings. They both played for their country with the National Team Development Program. They both successfully continued their hockey careers and graduated from the University of Notre Dame.”
Cole and Rust became the fifth and sixth former Notre Dame hockey players to lift the Stanley Cup and the first to do so since Mark Eaton and the Penguins captured the Stanley Cup in 2009.
Other former Irish players to lift the Stanley Cup include Bill Nyrop with the Montreal Candiens (1976, 1977 and 1978), Don Jackson with the Edmonton Oilers (1983 and 1984) and Brett Lebda with the Detroit Red Wings (2008). 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 2011, 2013 and 2015.
By Dan Colleran
— ND —