Stanley Cup MVP Jean-Sebastien Giguere was inconsolable despite being named the star player in ice hockey's showcase final.
His upstart Anaheim Mighty Ducks lost 3-0 in a game-seven decider against the New Jersey Devils, denying them of a happy ending to their fairytale season.
An unlikely Devils hero, Mike Rupp, stole the show in front of a delirious home crowd, scoring his first-ever play-off goal and setting up two more for Jeff Friesen to seal the win.
Afterwards, goaltender Giguere confirmed that the Conn Smythe MVP Trophy was no substitution for the NHL's biggest prize, the Stanley Cup.
"I would give Conn Smythe up to get the other one. The other one is much nicer and much bigger."
"My thoughts go to all my team-mates - they worked so hard in front of me and I couldn't do anything without them. This is something we'll hopefully share as a team."
Brodeur: Giguere deserved the MVP
Giguere, who is only the fifth player from a losing team to win MVP honours, was quick to congratulate the Devils on their third Stanley Cup in nine years.
"You have to give them credit," he said.
"They are a really good team and tonight they deserved to win. It was really tough to see them cheer."
There was more jeering than cheering when Giguere was given the MVP award, with Devils fans demanding that their goaltender Martin Brodeur instead be recognised.
But Brodeur was quick to defuse that situation.
"It's well deserved for Giguere," he said: "He's the big reason why the Mighty Ducks made it so far."
That Anaheim reached the NHL finale at all came as a big surprise to most people, sparking celebrations in the California home of Mickey Mouse.
The Ducks success also set up the first sibling rivalry in a Stanley Cup final since 1946.
But the contest, between brothers Scott and Rob Niedermayer had a familiar outcome, as Scott took home the trophy for the third time.
It's not over for us - we're going to build on this
"That was the hardest part," Scott said of being forced to commiserate with Rob after the final buzzer.
"I really didn't know what to say - I wish he could've been with us, carrying the trophy around.
"I just told him I was proud of him."
Niedermayer, Brodeur and the rest of the Devils are already thinking about more future glory.
"It's not over for us," said Brodeur.
"We're going to try to build on this. . . but right now, it's not time to call us a dynasty."