When the Stanley Cup arrived in the Pittsburgh Penguins dressing room last fall for the first time after being engraved with the names of the 2016 champions, of course Andy Saucier touched it. Saucier ran his fingers over his name, engraved into the Cup’s silver-nickel alloy. Fifth line down, last name on the right. Andy Saucier. He took some pictures for his family to commemorate his newfound hockey immortality.

“I went to my office and did some work. I thought about it, and went back and touched it again,” Saucier said.

Saucier’s name will be on the Stanley Cup forever. Of all the prizes in sports, the Stanley Cup is the hardest to win, with 16 victories in a two-month grind the cover charge, on top of the slog through a long NHL regular season. When the Penguins beat the Nashville Predators 1-0 in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup finals, Saucier earned a place on the best trophy in sports, again.

A native of Waterville and 2004 graduate of Waterville Senior High School, Saucier is the video coach for the Penguins. Players, coaches and front office personnel of each Stanley Cup winner are engraved on the Cup, a tradition that offers tangible proof of the work that went into winning the thing.

This year’s celebration was just as sweet, if not sweeter, than last year’s, Saucier said.

“When you’ve won it, you have a better idea of what it takes to win it now, and I think I appreciate it more,” Saucier said in a phone interview Thursday afternoon. It was less than 24 hours after the Penguins victory parade. According to the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, the parade drew an estimated 650,000 people. The Penguins summer-long party is just starting.

Saucier did his part in Game 1 of the finals. After Nashville’s PK Subban scored a goal early in the first period to give the Predators a 1-0 lead, Saucier was on his headset, telling assistant coach Rick Tocchet to have head coach Mike Sullivan challenge the play. Every time the opposing team enters Pittsburgh’s zone, Saucier reviews it to make sure everything is onside. It appeared Nashville’s Filip Forsberg was offside during the entry. Was Forsberg’s skate on the blue line? Over the blue line? It was worth a look.

Official review showed Forsberg was just offside, but that’s all it takes, and Subban’s goal was nullified. Whatever momentum Nashville had was nullified, too. The Penguins scored three quick goals to end the period, and went on to a 5-3 win.

“It was a tense moment,” Saucier said. “It was really, really close. I’m glad to contribute.”

When the Penguins scored with under two minutes to play in the deciding game six to break a scoreless tie, Nashville asked for a review, so see if goalie Pekka Rinne had been interfered with. Saucier also looked at the play, and was confident the goal would stand. It did.

“Nashville has nothing to lose at that point. We weren’t really concerned, but you never know. A lot of times, it’s a coin flip, a 50/50 shot,” Saucier said.

The win means Saucier will get another championship ring. He said he hasn’t worn the 2016 ring since the night they were presented to the team. Off the top of his head, Saucier did not know the gold ring has more than 300 diamonds.

“All I know is, it’s nice and shiny,” Saucier said.

Saucier also knows the ring is getting a brother.

Each member of the Stanley Cup winning team gets a day with the Cup. Last summer, Saucier brought the Cup to Waterville, where he held a public viewing at Colby College’s Alfond Rink before a private party with family and friends. The Cup’s travel schedule hasn’t been set yet, and Saucier isn’t sure when he’ll have his day, or what his plans are.

“I imagine I’ll take it back to Maine, but I don’t know yet,” he said.

Saucier does know this: few things feel as good as lifting the Stanley Cup over your head.

“A common misconception is, once you win it, you’re satisfied,” Saucier said. “I think it’s the opposite. Once you know how it feels, you want to experience it again.”

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

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