Another former Wisconsin Badgers men’s hockey standout earned a championship.
Defenseman Justin Schultz and the Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Nashville Predators 2-0 in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final on Sunday, clinching the Stanley Cup for the second consecutive year.
Schultz was credited with an assist on Patric Hornqvist’s third-period goal with 1:35 left in regulation, stunning the Nashville crowd. In this series, he had one goal and two assists for the Penguins, the NHL’s first team to win back-to-back championships since the Detroit Red Wings in 1997 and 1998.
During the 2016-17 playoffs, the former Badger recorded 13 points (four goals, nine assists). In 78 games this season, Schultz registered 51 points (12 goals, 39 assists).
It’s the second consecutive Stanley Cup for Schultz and the Penguins, who defeated former Wisconsin standout Joe Pavelski and the San Jose Sharks last season. He joins a list of five former Badgers who have won the championship multiple times.
June 12, 2017
Much credit has to be given to the Predators, who boast another former Badger in right wing forward Craig Smith. Nashville fought from the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference to get into the Stanley Cup Final. In the process, the organization—with its unique atmosphere and fan base—became an intriguing storyline all in itself.
Smith scored a third-period goal in Game 3 of the Final and notched an assist in Game 4.
Originally drafted by the Anaheim Ducks with the No. 43 pick in the 2008 NHL Draft (second round), Schultz came to Wisconsin and was a force under former head coach Mike Eaves, earning WCHA All-Rookie honors in 2009-10 alongside Smith. He was named a two-time WCHA Defensive Player of the Year and two-time first-team All-American. He combined to score 91 points in his first two seasons at UW.