VANCOUVER – Just over four years ago, Bruins forward Milan Lucic was celebrating a Memorial Cup win at the Pacific Coliseum with his Western Hockey League teammates about 15 minutes away from Rogers Arena.
The following season, as a 19-year-old, Lucic joined the Bruins -- who had selected him 50th overall at the 2006 NHL Entry Draft -- for his rookie season.
The East Vancouver native had his dream come true Wednesday night as he, and the Bruins, blanked the Vancouver Canucks 4-0 in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final.
"It doesn't get any better. It hasn't sunk in yet, but I'm definitely going to enjoy this," he said as his family was joining him on the ice. "It's unbelievable, it completes the resume (to win it) here at home."
Fellow B.C.-native Mark Recchi, who confirmed Wednesday was his final game, said winning in his home province is the next best thing outside of winning in Boston.
"If it wasn't going to be in Boston, this is the perfect place for it," said the 43-year-old Kamloops native. "Obviously we would've loved to do it back (in Boston), but being B.C.-born, and raised this is the second best choice."
Lucic finished the Stanley Cup Final with two goals and an assist in the seven games and had five goals and 12 points in 25 playoff games.
According to the 23-year-old, the fact that everyone doubted the Bruins is what makes the win sweeter.
"I think people had us written off before the series started," he said. "We answered everybody's question with what we were going to do with the Sedins, (Ryan) Kesler, (Roberto) Luongo and it feels good."
Lucic, who grew up attending Kilarney Secondary School, went undrafted in the WHL Bantam Draft, and it wasn't until Vancouver Giants GM Scott Bonner saw him playing Junior B hockey in Delta, B.C., that his hockey career turned.
"I think what happened is he was just really raw. He did everything OK and he just had to work hard to fine tune it," Bonner said. "To his credit, anything Don Hay had asked him to do, on the ice, off the ice, he did and he did well and I think he's one of the hardest working guys we've ever had."
On Wednesday night, the man they call 'Looch' saw his career come full circle as he hoisted the Cup in the same building where he was drafted five years ago.
That was something I've been dreaming of, something I've told myself before the third period I was going to do ... It was an amazing feeling. It's hard to describe. I didn't believe it went in at first but when I saw all the reaction and all the fans going crazy and my teammates going crazy, it's just an unbelievable feeling. I didn't know what to do. I didn't know whether to jump or just skate and do a Theo Fleury. I don't think I'm the same caliber player he is so I couldn't do it.
— Flames forward Mikael Backlund on scoring the overtime winner against the Ducks in Gm. 3