For many of us who woke up at 4AM on weekend mornings to take our kids to a cold ice rink, can relate to what a family from Robbinsville went through. What the overwhelming majority of us can't relate to, but share in, is the joy of watching what that effort can ultimately lead to.

Wednesday night Ross Colton of Robbinsville scored the winning goal in the final game of the NHL Stanley Cup Finals to win the Stanley Cup.

Being a standout star on the University of Vermont hockey team was great. Being drafted back in 2016 by the Tampa Bay Lightning was awesome. But to score the winning goal in the Stanley Cup Finals victory game, AS A ROOKIE, is beyond the hopes and dreams of kids and their parents everywhere.

All three of my kids played ice hockey. The middle guy, Greg, was a standout. He played well above his level throughout his childhood playing career. When he quit at the age of 13 to spend more time skateboarding and being with his friends, rather than being driven to rinks all over the state, we said OK.

I actually had dads get in my face and ask me how I could let him quit. I couldn't and wouldn't make him participate in a game he didn't want to play.

Looking back, I know he had the talent it took to go far in hockey, very far. But he's gone far in life. He's married, with a house and a great career, and he's all in one piece, which no sports glory can replace. More importantly, anyone who knows him thinks he's one of the nicest people they've ever met.

So many parents hope for that scholarship or pro career for their talented, hardworking athlete offspring, but if they make it to adulthood happy, well-adjusted and healthy, that's the biggest win a parent can hope for.

Very few people make it to the level that Ross Colton has reached. We are extremely happy and proud for Ross, his family, coaches, and friends. They should enjoy every moment of this special time.

From what we hear, he is a great kid and comes from a good family, which makes it even more special. Good for you Ross ... New Jersey is very proud and happy for you!

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Dennis Malloy. Any opinions expressed are Dennis Malloy's own.

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