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Chicago hockey fans subdued after Blackhawks lose Game 3 in Boston

Friday, June 28, 2013

Hockey fans were huddled around TVs at homes and bars across the Chicago area Monday night to catch all the action.

One hot spot for Game 3 was Navy Pier, where a Hawks legend was on hand.

Jim Cornelison is a fixture at the United Center where he sings the national anthem before the games. But when they're on the road like Monday he's relegated to being an ordinary fan.

Cornelison is in good company with other Hawks fans tonight at Harry Caray's. The place is packed with Hawks fans on the edge of their seats.

Hall-of-Famer Bobby Hull is holding court in a corner of the restaurant, signing autographs and offering his take on the game.

Among the most knowledgeable fans you will find are at Johnny's Ice House. Many are still on the ice playing during the first period, but a few are glued to the TV in the bar.

Back at Harry Caray's, Cornelison is posing for pictures with fans- and his championship ring from 2010. He wants more.

And there were Blackhawks fans infiltrating enemy territory Monday night in Boston as well.

These expatriate Chicago fans found spots to watch the game just across the Charles River in Cambridge, a few miles from the TD Garden.

"It's like being home, like therapy for us. We got a bunch of guys and girls here who just miss rooting for our teams you know," said Nick Castaneda, Blackhawks fan in Boston.

Blackhawks educate about Native American culture

Blackhawks fans are hoping their team will bounce back in Boston after losing Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final last Saturday night. Fans will be cheering for the team from the American Indian Center in Chicago where they have been educated about the Native American culture.

Ever since the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup three years ago, the American Indian Center and the Blackhawks forged a unique relationship. llll

Paintings, head dresses and dream catchers are what you would expect at the American Indian Center in Chicago's Uptown neighborhood, but this museum also includes a special display devoted to the Blackhawks.

"Our goal is not to remove native imagery that is controversial, it's about teaching about it and the Blackhawks understood that," said executive director Joe Podlasek.

It's an understanding Podlasek calls rare in sports. He reached out to the Blackhawks front office after the team won the Stanley Cup three years. It was then when Podlasek realized how many fans had no idea the history behind the NHL's favorite logo.

"That was a light bulb for both of us we need to do some education that makes a difference and to be able to grow beyond and it has been amazing," he said.

The education campaign began with a spot on the Blackhawks website, where it explains that the team name is derived from a person rather than a tribe.

Chief Black Hawk was a leader and warrior of the Sauk and Fox Tribe in Illinois. He led young men during the black hawk war of 1832. Because he was a veteran, Native American veterans have been represented on the ice for several games this season, including the first game of the playoffs and Stanley Cup Final.

But, the unique partnership between the center and the Blackhawks doesn't end there. When the Blackhawks bring home the cup this year, a brand new gym, courtesy of the team, will open on the Indian Center's top floor.

"They are not interested in here in a bunch of money," Podlasek said. "They want to see a long tern relationship in our community."

While the Blackhawks paid for the gymnasium, it was built by Native American contractors. The gym was built in an effort to fight childhood obesity within the Native American population.

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