Photo credit: Dave Sandford/Getty Images
Remember the name Devante Smith-Pelly. The 25-year-old Washington Capitals forward just helped lead his team to win their first-ever Stanley Cup with his game-tying goal in a 4-3 victory over the Vegas Golden Knights on Thursday.
Smith-Pelly, one of the two Black players on the Capitals, scored seven playoff goals in the Stanley Cup finals, now tying with Alex Ovechkin for most third-period goals this postseason. His game-tying goal was scored in the third period and positioned Lars Eller to score the game-winning goal.
“This is amazing. I never thought this is how the season would end,” said Smith-Pelly. “I appreciate Washington wanting to bring me in and give me a try. This is great.”
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Before being signed to the Washington Capitals, Smith-Pelly moved around the National Hockey League for seven seasons and was cut from the New Jersey Devils. However, his drive led him to earn one of the last spots on the Capitals and secure his spot as a bottom-six forward.
“Every game is so important…” Smith-Pelly told the Washington Post of his seven playoff goals. “Just trying to do my part, and (the shots) just so happened to be going in for me.”
In doing his part, Smith-Pelly helped Washington secure its first major championship since 1992, and has made a decision to skip out on the White House visit as a protest of the current administration.
Congratulations, Devante on blazing on your trail on the ice!