Former Mav Parse reflects on Stanley Cup
Published: Tuesday, September 4, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, September 11, 2012 19:09
What’s worse than a season-ending surgery in just your second year in the NHL? Try another one barely a year later.
After five years of jumping around from the American Hockey League to the East Coast Hockey League and back, former Mav Scott Parse got his shot at the NHL. Parse realized one of his dreams when he was called up to skate for the Los Angeles Kings on October 24, 2009.
In his debut performance, Parse recorded an assist in the third period and got his first goal five days later. Parse’s first season featured 59 games in which he scored 11 goals and 13 assists for 24 points.
Parse got his shot, and it seemed so far so good. Then in 2010 Parse only played five games because a lower-body injury required surgery on his hip, ending his second season in the league.
In 2011 Parse only skated in nine games before sustaining an injury that required surgery on his other hip. But would all that frustration be worth it if you knew that at the end you’d get to hold the Stanley Cup?
“Things were a little different for me because I wasn’t really playing, but it was cool,” Parse said. “I got to go out there and skate with the cup. It’s something you dream about doing and I’ll never forget it.”
Parse’s teammates on the Kings completed one of the most improbable runs to the Stanley Cup Championship in 2012. When the playoffs started, Los Angeles was seeded eighth.
But the Kings reached the Stanley Cup Final by getting through the no.1, no. 2 and no. 3 seeded teams in just 13 games. Los Angeles lost only once on the road in the 2012 playoffs, posting a 10-1 record.
Had you asked any fan or supposed expert before the season, none would have told you the Kings would even come close to making the final, let alone win it.
“I thought we had a good chance,” Parse said about his team’s chances before the season started. “We have a lot of good players. If you look at our roster, we should have been a good team. We had some ups and downs in the regular season, but we turned it on when it counted.”
Los Angeles’ goaltender Jonathan Quick was particularly good. The NHL’s winner for the Conn Smythe Trophy, given to the playoff’s most valuable player, put up a ridiculous 1.44 goals against average and a .946 save percentage in 20 playoff games.
Three players scored eight goals, and seven had point totals in the double digits. The effort was spread out all around the roster.
When it counted most, Parse said his team had “a little bit of everything.”
“[We had a] great goalie, little bit of luck, we stayed healthy all playoffs. I don’t think anyone missed a game all playoffs. And we had hard work,” Parse said.
In four years as a Mav, Parse racked up 79 goals and 188 assists. His 197 points are the most in school history by 47. Parse was the leading scorer all four years of his Maverick career.
In his career totals Parse also has the highest-ever points per game average at 1.24, second most power play goals at 24, second most short-handed goals at 7 and second best plus/minus rating at + 31.
But it wasn’t just individual success. His years in Omaha were some of the best for UNO’s hockey program.
His sophomore season, Parse led the Mavs to the CCHA Super Six for the first time in four seasons. A year later he was named the CCHA Player of the Year, was among 10 finalists for the Hobey Baker award and UNO played in the NCAA tournament for the first time in school history.
“The guys I played with here are still my best friends,” Parse said. “I talk to a lot of them. Obviously I came back this weekend, and I looked forward to seeing all of them.”
Parse was back in Omaha the weekend of Aug. 24-26 playing in the second annual Skate for a Cure. The benefit game featured former Mavs and current NHL players, and was organized to raise funds to fight Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.
Former UNO player, and current assistant coach at Western Michigan, Rob Facca and his wife Nikki have a son, Louie, who was diagnosed with the disease. Facca was a member of the first-ever team of Mavs that took the ice in 1997.
Despite being injured for most of the year and all of the playoffs, Parse said that didn’t make the Stanley Cup any less sweet.
“[We had] a lot of fun [and] didn’t get much sleep,” Parse said about the 48 hours after the Kings won the cup. “We had a good time. We took it, we all live in the same are in Los Angeles, so we took it to where we live and celebrated.”
That must have been some block party. Every hockey player dreams of winning the Stanley Cup. But do they actually believe it can happen?
“You hope so, that’s why you play,” Parse said. “It was fun even though I was hurt and didn’t really play all year. It was great to be a part of it. I’ll remember that forever.”
But since Parse wasn’t on the ice for the playoffs, does that make him even more motivated to win another?
“Absolutely,” he said. “Hopefully I can do that one day and play and contribute.”