GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- Former University of North Dakota captain Matt Greene has won hockey's holy grail.
Greene and the Los Angeles Kings defeated fellow UND products Zach Parise, Travis Zajac and the New Jersey Devils 6-1 tonight to capture the series in six games. It was the first Stanley Cup title in Kings franchise history.
Greene, who scored the game's final goal, entered Game 6 leading all NHL defensemen in hits (77), 15 more than any other rearguard, while tying for second in plus/minus (+9) and ranking fourth in short-handed ice time (71:35). He also had two goals and four assists in 20 games.
Greene is the 12th former Sioux to have his name engraved on the Stanley Cup as a player, and the 13th overall (former UND defenseman Rick Wilson was an assistant coach on the Dallas Stars' Cup-winning team in 1999).
An assistant captain, Greene became the third former Sioux to win the Cup while wearing a letter for his team. Jonathan Toews captained the Chicago Blackawks to the 2009-10 championship, while Craig Ludwig was an assistant captain with Dallas in 1999.It was the second Stanley Cup Final appearance for Greene, who lost to Carolina in 2006 while with the Edmonton Oilers.
Greene spent three seasons at North Dakota (2002-05), captaining the Sioux to the NCAA Frozen Four championship game as a junior during his final season. The Grand Ledge, Mich., native appeared in 122 collegiate games, amassing 31 career points and 347 penalty minutes.
Parise scored 15 points (8 goals, 7 assists) in 24 games to finish one point off the team's scoring lead. Zajac had seven goals and seven assists in 24 games.
UND's Stanley Cup Champions
Craig Ludwig, Montreal, 1985-86
Geoff Smith, Edmonton, 1989-90
Jay Caufield, Pittsburgh, 1990-91
Jay Caufield, Pittsburgh, 1991-92
Troy Murray, Colorado, 1995-96
Ed Belfour, Dallas, 1998-99
Tony Hrkac, Dallas, 1998-99
Craig Ludwig, Dallas, 1998-99
Rick Wilson, Dallas, 1998-99 (assistant coach)
Brad Bombardir, New Jersey, 1999-00
Mike Commodore, Carolina, 2005-06
Jonathan Toews, Chicago, 2009-10 (Conn Smythe Trophy winner)
Matt Greene, Los Angeles, 2011-12