When the Tampa Bay Lightning and Colorado Avalanche face off in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals Wednesday night, you can expect the teams’ biggest fans to be cheering them on.
The Lightning – looking to defend their back-to-back Stanley Cup titles after defeating the New York Rangers in the Eastern Conference Finals – will have to roll through Colorado, where the Avalanche will host the first two games of the series following their victory over the Edmonton Oilers in the Western Conference Finals.
Before the puck drops, meet some of the significant other Lightning and Avalanche players.
Tampa Bay Blitz
Sandra Porzio, wife of center and captain Steven Stamkos
According to NHL.com, Steven Stamkos has been married to longtime girlfriend Sandra Porzio since 2017, when the couple tied the knot in Toronto. Stamkos, 32, and Porzio are now the proud parents of two young sons, Carter and Chase, the latter of whom arrived last year.
The entire Stamkos family jetted out to Nashville for the Stadium Series against the Predators in February when Porzio was photographed on the ice wearing Stamkos’ #91 on a personalized cap.
Kaylee McDonagh, wife of defense attorney Ryan McDonagh
Ryan McDonagh, a high school sweetheart, married Kaylee in July 2013, around the same time the NHL defenseman signed a six-year contract with Rangers, who first took him on in 2009. The couple welcomed their first child in 2016, daughter Falan relocated to Tampa two years later when McDonagh, 33, was traded to Lightning.
Following McDonagh’s first championship win with the Lightning in 2020, the family posed for playful photos with Lord Stanley’s Cup. Kaylee and co. also enjoyed family time on the ice in February when the Lightning took on the Nashville Predators as part of the Stadium Series.
Anastasiya Kucherov, wife of winger Nikita Kucherov
Although the Kucherovs keep much of their personal life private, the Lightning winger, 28, has shared snippets of his personal life with Anastasiya on Instagram. The couple, who reportedly tied the knot in 2015, are also parents to a young son named Max, with the trio frequently appearing on Kucherov’s Instagram page.
In 2020, after the Lightning defeated the Dallas Stars in the Stanley Cup Finals, Kucherov and his family took the trophy for a spin on a boat. The trio posed for a similar shot a year later after Tampa won its second straight Stanley Cup win over the Montreal Canadiens.
Francesca Maroon, wife of winger Patrick Maroon
Patrick Maroon married sweetheart Francesca in 2020, which the 34-year-old winger proudly announced in an Instagram post, writing, “The new Mr. Maroon and the new Mrs. Maroon.” Although Francesca has kept a low profile on social media, Maroon has photos of his family life, including an adorable photo of their little girl hanging out in the Flash’s dressing room.
Kseniya Vasilevskiy, wife of goalkeeper Andrei Vasilevskiy
The love story between Lightning goalkeeper Andrei Vasilevskiy and his wife Kseniya started in an unexpected place. “I met Kseniya on the plane, we were next to each other and we started talking, then we continued chatting on social networks. And you know the rest,” the 27-year-old athlete told The Hockey Writers in 2014, with the couple reportedly tying the knot a short time later.
The couple have appeared on the red carpet over the years, including at the 2019 NHL Awards in Las Vegas.
Sydney Kuemper, wife of goalkeeper Darcy Kuemper
It’s been a tumultuous year for Avalanche goalie Darcy Kuemper. Not only was the 32-year-old traded to Colorado from the Arizona Coyotes last July, but he and girlfriend Sydney tied the knot a month later. In an Instagram post of their special day, Kuemper gushed, “Best Day Ever 6/8/21.” The couple are also parents to an adorable fur baby, who has made a few cameos on Kuemper’s Instagram page.
Melissa Shouldice, wife of winger and captain Gabriel Landeskog
Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog and wife Melissa Shouldice have been married since 2018 and are the proud parents of two adorable children. Though Shouldice keeps her social media private, Landeskog, 29, regularly shares sweet snaps of the couple, who have been together since 2012. For Shouldice’s 30th birthday in January, Landeskog shared a touching Instagram tribute with the caption, “30 suits you my love.”
Ashley Cave, wife of center Nazem Kadri
Nazem Kadri and his wife Ashley Cave first crossed paths in early 2016 before tying the knot less than two years later when the Avalanche Center, 31, was still a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Ashley, who promotes her husband’s charity, the Nazem Kadri Foundation, on social media, also runs a page for her cat, Jazzy.
Ashley recently revealed that she and her family have been the target of racial threats on social media. Following the harrowing incident, a message was posted on Jazzy’s page thanking fans for their support and kind words.