Thomas in select company with Cup win

Tim Thomas of the Boston Bruins pauses during practice at TD Banknorth Garden in Boston, MA. (Eric...

Tim Thomas of the Boston Bruins pauses during practice at TD Banknorth Garden in Boston, MA. (Eric Bolte/ QMI AGENCY)

Chris Stevenson, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:42 PM ET

If Tim Thomas can find the time to win the Stanley Cup -- when he's not supposed to be pumping Bobby Lou's tires -- he will join some pretty exclusive company.

The Boston Bruins goaltender, a graduate of the University of Vermont, could join former Bruin Frank Brimsek (St. Cloud State/Boston, 1939, '41) and Mike Richter (University of Wisconsin/New York Rangers, 1994) as the only American-born, U.S. collegians to win the Cup.

The list of U.S. college-trained Cup winners is pretty short: Ken Dryden (Cornell/Montreal Canadiens, 1971, '73, '76-'79) and Ed Belfour (University of North Dakota/Dallas Stars, 1999) are the only other goaltenders with U.S. college experience to win a Cup.

Thomas could join Dryden as the only grads to win the Cup.

"You know, it's an honour to be mentioned in the same sentence as Ken Dryden," said Thomas, who has given up just six goals in the five games in the final, yet finds the Bruins trailing 3-2.

"When I was in college, I remember looking at what he had accomplished and his stats. Those were stats that I was gunning for, to try and reach in college because he had a good college career. I read his book either when I was in college or, I think, the year after I was out of college, too, and gained some insight from that.

"I didn't realize that was the case. I would like to hope that I can finish it off and get the Cup like he did."

Tony Esposito (Michigan Tech/Chicago Blackhawks, 1971, '73), Dwayne Roloson (U-Mass Lowell, Edmonton Oilers, 2006) and Jon Casey (University of North Dakota, Minnesota North Stars, 1991) are U.S. collegians who made it to the Stanley Cup final.

NOTE: Vancouver Canucks forward Ryan Kesler didn't practice Sunday, but will play Monday night in Game 6, according to Canucks coach Alain Vigneault.


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