I’m hoping I can get a few more kids to get into the NHL and hopefully lift the cup one day themselves. —Trevor Lewis
SALT LAKE CITY — Standing 3 feet high and weighing 40 pounds, the Holy Grail of hockey was met with cheers from excited fans as professional hockey player Trevor Lewis hoisted the cup over his shoulders.
"It's something you dream about your whole life, lifting the Stanley Cup," said Lewis, a center for the Los Angeles Kings, who brought the cup to the state Capitol on Wednesday morning. "This is my second time, so it's pretty incredible, and I hope we can do it again."
The Utah native brought the Stanley Cup home to celebrate the Los Angeles Kings' victory over the New York Rangers in the 2014 Stanley Cup Final.
With an amazing double-overtime goal, the Kings clinched the series for the second time in three years — a feat unheard of for many young professional hockey players, including Lewis.
Jeff Robbins, president and CEO of the Utah Sports Commission, read the governor’s declaration making Aug. 27, 2014, Utah Youth Hockey and Stanley Cup Day in Utah.
"I’m hoping I can get a few more kids to get into the NHL and hopefully lift the cup one day themselves," Lewis said.
Kara Bendt, Lewis' girlfriend of two years, described him as a humble player and a great guy. In an effort to promote hockey to Utah youths, Lewis sent an email asking for young players to show up a half-hour earlier than the general public, Bendt said.
"On the bus ride up here, there were kids walking up to the Capitol," she said, "and the bus was stopped, and he just pulled the window down and let them look at (the Stanley Cup) and take pictures."
About a 1,000 people showed up to bask in the glory of Lord Stanley's Mug, an event Copper Hills hockey team captain Sean Schmidt described as breathtaking.
"It’s the most amazing thing. It makes you realize that you have a chance to get up there," he said.
Representing Copper Hills High School, the team gathered around the cup to take a picture with Lewis.
"It’s the most amazing thing because he’s the first hockey player from Utah to get the Stanley Cup twice. It’s just an inspiration to us to work harder and bring it back even more," said Kayden Houser, a member of the Copper Hills team.
Daxton Nielson, 13, and his family were the first ones in line after an early arrival of 5:45 a.m. Daxton, a Boston Bruins fan at heart, said Lewis will always be one of his favorite players because of his Utah heritage.
"That was totally worth the wait. It was so amazing," he said minutes after stepping away from the Stanley Cup.
Lifelong hockey fan Ron Mrocek pointed out the relevance of the Kings' two titles in three seasons.
"You don’t hear it very often that way, so it’s a big deal," Mrocek, 60, said of the Kings' victories in 2012 and 2014. "I am enjoying this, and the day hasn’t even barely begun."
As Mrocek stood in line waiting for his turn with the cup, Lewis unintentionally gave him the best birthday present of his life, he said.
Lewis said he plans to spend his day with the Stanley Cup relaxing at home with his family and friends.
"I got them all here, so they are helping make this day really special to me, and we are going to have some fun with it," he said.
Proud mother Linda Lewis said her son's journey has been a whirlwind of surreal moments.
"Me and my buddies used to play in the driveway and act like it was Game 7 of the Stanley Cup, and we’d want to lift the cup," Lewis said, "so it's definitely a dream come true."