It’s a feat that has not been accomplished in nearly twenty years but West Kelowna Warriors alumni Justin Schultz and the Pittsburgh Penguins captured back-to-back Stanley Cup championships with a six-game series win over the Nashville Predators on Sunday evening.
The Penguins become the first team since the 1997 and 1998 Detroit Red Wings to hoist Lord Stanley in back-to-back seasons and are the first team in the Salary Cap era to do so while also giving West Kelowna native and former Warriors defenseman Justin Schultz a pair of Stanley Cup rings.
Schultz played parts of three seasons in West Kelowna from 2006 to 2009 before heading off to the University of Wisconsin for a successful three seasons with the Badgers. Schultz scored 25 goals and 91 points in 107 career regular season games with the Warriors, including 4 goals and 11 points in 17 playoff games.
The 6’2”, 193-pound rearguard played a big part in the Penguins success over their 2017 Stanley Cup run in an elevated role on the backend due to injuries on the Penguins blue line. Schultz had four goals and 13 points in 21 playoff games this postseason including some big games in key Pittsburgh victories. Schultz tallied a goal and two assists in the Penguins 3-2 double overtime victory in Game #7 against the Ottawa Senators in the Eastern Conference Final before opening the scoring, which eventually would be the game winning goal, in Game #5 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Predators. Justin played 18:13 in the Cup-clinching Game #6 in Nashville on Sunday and assisted on the game-winning goal by Patric Hornqvist with 1:35 remaining in the third period. Schultz shot from the point careened off the end boards and jetted to the side of the goal for Hornqvist to bank the puck in off of Pekka Rinne for the late lead for Pittsburgh.
Schultz and his mom, Kim, were interviewed by Hockey Night in Canada’s David Amber after the Penguins Game #6 Stanley Cup victory, which can be found in the link HERE.
The entire Warriors organization would like to congratulate Justin on back-to-back Stanley Cup victories! It is unknown for now if Schultz will be making another tour with Lord Stanley as he did last season.