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On The Road: A Discovered Engagement

The Avalanche learned of Sheldon Dries' proposal during the first road trip of the season

by Ron Knabenbauer @RonKnab / ColoradoAvalanche.com

Talk about a good week for Sheldon Dries.

Three days after making the Colorado Avalanche's season-opening roster and his NHL debut, Dries officially took himself off the market (sorry ladies). The 24-year-old proposed to his longtime girlfriend Emilee on Sunday during a hike at Eldorado Canyon State Park.

She said yes.

"It was a pretty long trail to get to a nice scenic spot," Dries recalled of the moment. "We are both very family-oriented people and both of our parents were here for opening weekend. I thought it would be very special for them to be a part of it and be part of the opportunity for me to propose. We got to a nice scenic spot, I said a few words, got down on one knee and asked the big question."

The news of the engagement was unannounced to Dries' teammates until the next day.

Dries nonchalantly brought it up to Tyson Jost on Monday as the team boarded its charter flight for the first road trip of the year. Jost made sure the rest of the Avs knew about it as he yelled the announcement on the plane prior to takeoff, which was followed by a loud cheer and a rousing applause.

The chance to pop the question during a hike came at a perfect time for Dries after the Avalanche won its first two games of the season at home.

"It was definitely planned out. I wasn't sure what mountain it was going to be, but I knew I wanted it to be in the mountains," Dries said. "That day we had off, and I thought it would be a good time to spend time with family and do it."

Maybe the only problem was the weather, as the seasons definitely turned to fall on Sunday. It was not one of the 300 days of sunshine that the Denver metro area receives annually, as it was cloudy with drizzling rain in areas and temperatures in the 40's.

Dries said the weather didn't take away from the moment, but he was keeping a close eye on it leading up to the proposal.

"I kept checking to make sure it wasn't going to rain," he said. "It was cloudy. It was foggy in the mountains a little bit. Once you got up there, you still got a lot of the views and it was still beautiful. It was in the back of my mind though, I was hoping it wasn't going to rain."

Dries is in his first season with the Avalanche and his second in pro hockey. The Western Michigan University grad spent last year with the Texas Stars--the Dallas Stars' top minor-league affiliate--on an American Hockey League contract but joined Colorado in the offseason after signing an NHL entry-level deal on July 2.

He's played in each of the first three games of the season as a wing on the Avs' fourth line with Matt Calvert and J.T. Compher.

"The first two games at home were great," Dries said. "It's obviously a dream to play in the NHL and get that debut. It was a surreal moment. It was exciting. I was truly honored."

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