Niagara Gazette

Sports

June 25, 2013

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

(Continued)

The team that set an NHL record with a 24-game unbeaten streak to start the lockout-shortened season won three straight games after falling behind 2-1 in the best-of-seven finals, rallying from a deficit in the series and in its finale. Corey Crawford made 23 saves, and Jonathan Toews returned from injury to add a goal and an assist in the first finals between Original Six teams since 1979.

"I still can't believe that finish. Oh my God, we never quit," Crawford said. "I never lost confidence. No one in our room ever did."

Trailing 2-1, Crawford went off for an extra skater and the Blackhawks converted when Toews fed it in front and Bickell scored from the edge of the crease to tie the score.

Perhaps the Bruins expected it to go to overtime, as three of the first four games in the series did. They sure seemed to be caught off-guard on the ensuing faceoff. Chicago skated into the zone, sent a shot on net and after it deflected off Michael Frolik and the post it went right to Bolland, who put it in the net.

The Blackhawks on the ice gathered in the corner, while those on the bench began jumping up and down. It was only a minute later, when Boston's Tuukka Rask was off for an extra man, that Chicago withstood the Bruins' final push and swarmed over the boards, throwing their sticks and gloves across the ice.

"It's unbelievable, man," Crawford said. "So much hard work to get to this point. Great effort by everyone on the team."

The Bruins got 28 saves from Rask, who was hoping to contribute to an NHL title after serving as Tim Thomas' backup when Boston won it all two years ago.

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