DENVER (KDVR) — Every Colorado Avalanche fan was excited about Andre Burakovsky’s game-winning overtime goal, chalking up a win in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final.

Imagine how exciting it was for those who worked with him at the start of his professional hockey career.

“It’s been fun to kind of see Andre flourish in Colorado,” said Chris Hartsburg. He was Burakovsky’s assistant coach when the Avs star played for the Erie Otters in Pennsylvania, early in his career during the 2013-2014 season.

Burakovsky scored a hat trick in one game and had a goal and four assists in another.

“Yeah, it was pretty evident right away. You know, obviously, he’s a great skater, he can really shoot the puck, great playmaker. He was all around, you know, for me, he was just an excellent hockey player,” Hartsburg told FOX31.

Hartsburg has his own place in Colorado hockey history. He skated at Colorado College and with the Colorado Eagles in Loveland.

He said Burakovsky’s game-winning goal gives hope to hockey players slugging it out in smaller markets. Though he is quick to point out: Few are as good as the Avs star.

“Well, it’s fun. You’re just happy for the player. They’re able to live their dream of doing what they worked so hard to do, and that’s the one thing Andre did,” Hartsburg said.