Au Rev-Roy! Remembering the night Detroit Red Wings destroyed hated Colorado Avalanche

Detroit Free Press

Editor’s note: This story was originally published May 31, 2020, as the Free Press, to pass the time during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, wrote daily #FreepFlashback posts, paying tribute to iconic moments in Detroit sports history.

Eighteen years ago Sunday night, the Joe was rocking.

On May 31, 2002, the Detroit Red Wings rained seven goals on their nemesis, the Colorado Avalanche and goalie Patrick Roy, scoring six times on their first 16 shots en route to a 7-0 beatdown in Game 7 of the Western Conference finals at Joe Louis Arena.

The win catapulted the Hockey Gods into the Stanley Cup Final to meet the Carolina Hurricanes.

It was a shocking end to a fantastic series that saw three games decided in overtime. The Wings won Game 6, 2-0, in Colorado to force a seventh game on their home ice, and they did not disappoint.

Tomas Holmstrom scored 1:57 into the game, his first of two goals and one of four goals in the first period for Detroit.

Also scoring: Sergei Fedorov, Luc Robitaille, Brett Hull, Fredrik Olausson and rookie Pavel Datsyuk.

Roy left the net to jeers just 6:28 into the second period after allowing six goals on 16 shots.

“You imagine and pray for something like this, but you don’t realistically think it’s going to happen,” Wings forward Brett Hull said. “A couple of us talked on the bench. We just said, ‘We keep looking up at the clock in disbelief at the score.’ ”

Dominik Hasek saved all 17 shots he saw for the Wings.

The Avs were the defending Stanley Cup champions, and had owned the rivalry in recent postseason history:

2000 West semis: Colorado, 4-1

1999 West semis: Colorado, 4-2

1997 West finals: Detroit, 4-2

1996 West finals: Colorado, 4-2

Mitch Albom flashback: Red Wings pound Patrick Roy, Avs to make 1997 Stanley Cup Finals ]

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