Almost Half a Century Later
Last night, the Chicago Blackhawks won their first Stanley Cup since the Kennedy administration. It was the 1960-1961 season to be exact. Lately, the focus of my blog has shifted from Cubs baseball to the Blackhawks. I've shared a few stories and some photos about the team. But, the game last night couldn't have ended in a more bizarre fashion.
During Game 6 in Philadelphia, the Blackhawks held a 3-2 lead late into the third and final period of regulation. With a few minutes left, the Flyers were able to slip a game-tying goal by Antti Niemi. Ultimately, the game was forced into a sudden death overtime. The first team to score would win. If the Flyers scored, Game 7 would be played on Friday in Chicago. If the Blackhawks scored, they are the Stanley Cup champions.
With the score tied 3-3 in overtime, Patrick Kane fired the puck from the left side of the goal. No lights to signify a goal. The announcers were silent. There was no crowd reaction pro or con. Nothing. Susan and I just sat there watching the television. The camera found Patrick Kane throwing off his gloves in celebration skating toward the Blackhawks goalie, Niemi. Niemi was still in his ready position. Besides Kane, nobody knew what happened. Next, the Blackhawks emptied their bench and began to celebrate on the ice.
Everything happened so quickly. What in reality was only a few seconds felt like an eternity. It was like a batter belting a home run, but nobody saw it happen. Very bizarre, but a clean goal.
After the game ended, I received a text from an old friend. It read:
"Thanks for making me a fan on January 3, 1988 against the Flames."
My Dad and I took him to his first Blackhawks game at the old Chicago Stadium.
What a night. What a season.
Photo Courtesy of the Chicago Tribune.