Niagara Gazette

Sports

June 25, 2013

Hero's welcome for Blackhawks after late rally wins Stanley Cup

CHICAGO — The party goes on for the Chicago Blackhawks.

Hours after returning from their 3-2 win over the Boston Bruins, the team has been giving fans a close-up look at the Stanley Cup, hauling their prize around to bars and restaurants around the city.

Team members greeted cheering fans with high-fives as they filed into The Scout bar in Chicago's South Loop. TV news helicopters hovered overhead as they followed the bus and limos ferrying the players and their families around town under a police escort.

Earlier, the team was greeted on the tarmac at O'Hare International Airport with a water cannon salute from about a dozen fire trucks and even more police cars — all with their lights flashing.

It all came after two goals — 17 seconds apart — netted the Blackhawks a second Stanley Cup victory in four seasons.

Seventy-six seconds away from defeat and a trip home for a decisive seventh game, Bryan Bickell tied it. Then, while the Bruins were settling in for another overtime in a series that has already had its share, Dave Bolland scored to give Chicago a 3-2 victory in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final on Monday night.

The back-to-back scores in about the time it takes for one good rush down the ice turned a near-certain loss into a championship clincher, stunning the Boston players and their fans and starting the celebration on the Blackhawks' bench with 59 seconds to play.

"We thought we were going home for Game 7. You still think you're going to overtime and you're going to try to win it there. Then Bolly scores a huge goal 17 seconds later," said Chicago forward Patrick Kane, who won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the postseason's most valuable player. "It feels like the last 58 seconds were an eternity."

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