For the third time in four years, the Vegas Golden Knights are heading to the Western Conference Finals.

The Golden Knights finished the series by knocking out the Colorado Avalanche in a 6-3 Game 6 victory to complete the comeback. Vegas trailed Colorado 2-0 in the series before winning four straight games.

“I don’t think there was a person in the hockey world when we were down 2-0, that thought we would finish this in Game 6 at home tonight,” Golden Knights coach Pete DeBoer said. “That was real. A lot of talk about us being swept, being embarrassed, could we even win a game? We have a group with a lot of pride. They blocked out the noise and went to work.”

The series loss was bitter for Avalanche star Nathan MacKinnon. “I’m going into my ninth year next year and haven’t won s—,” MacKinnon said. “I’m definitely motivated. It just sucks.” It is the third straight year that Colorado has been knocked out of the second round. It’s disappointing for Colorado, who won the President’s Trophy for being the best regular-season team. Ironically, they won the trophy narrowly over the Vegas Golden Knights.

Vegas is excited about continuing their winning ways, especially given that they only recently joined the league as an expansion team. The Golden Knights have existed for four years, and they have made the playoffs every season. After making the Western Conference Final for the third time, they are effectively raising the standards for an expansion team.

“It’s so hard to get to this point,” DeBoer said. “Everybody talks about winning the Stanley Cup, but I’m an Ontario guy. I’ve watched the Toronto Maple Leafs closely, I was drafted by the franchise. They haven’t gotten out of the first round in, what, 17 years now? And that’s a good franchise: well run, well-coached. It’s hard to make the playoffs in this league, it’s hard to win a series. So what these men have accomplished, it’s unreal.”

Vegas is looking to win its first Stanley Cup. The Golden Knights made the Stanley Cup Finals during their inaugural season but failed to defeat the Washington Capitals, who won the cup in a 4-1 series win.

“We have built a winning mentality, we built a winning franchise, but at the point, we’re at right now — we’re in Year 4, and we need to start winning Cups,” winger Jonathan Marchessault told ESPN. “I mean, yeah, it’s fine we made the playoffs four years in a row, but a Cup would be the only thing to bring us satisfaction.”

Vegas will face the Montreal Canadiens in the next round. The winner will receive the Clarence S. Campbell Bowl for winning the Western Conference and will advance to the Stanley Cup Finals.

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