DENVER (KDVR) — There were some exciting moments at a private airport near Denver International Airport as the Colorado Avalanche returned from winning the Stanley Cup.
The public was not allowed at the Signature Flight Support Terminal when the team’s private jet touched down in Denver. But there was still plenty of cheering.
The excitement built as the team stepped off the plane. The newly crowned NHL champs took turns holding the trophy. It has been more than 20 years since the Avalanche won the cup.
Graham Barber took a break from his job at the airport to welcome the team home and to show off his own trophy. It was a small plastic replica attached to his safety helmet.
“I ordered the cup a couple of weeks ago. It sat in a box on the kitchen table until time ran out last night. We then we opened it and had a little drink of lemonade when they won,” Barber said.
The crowd that welcomed home the Avalanche was made up of Avs staff and airport workers. The public was not allowed close to the plane because of the tarmac’s small size and small parking lot.
But fans like Paul Stipe and his son Jaxon braved the heat and stood outside the gates.
“It’s still unreal. I keep pinching myself looking down at this newspaper just asking myself if it’s real. It’s been a long time,” Stipe said as he held a newspaper proclaiming the Avalanche’s big win.
Stipe was a kid the last time the Avalanche won the cup. He was not about to miss this moment to greet the team.
From the looks on the player’s faces, it was clear they felt the love. And there is lots more of this to come in the big victory parade later this week.