Blackhawks celebrations largely peaceful across Chicago, despite some arrests in Wrigleyville
June 24, 2013 (CHICAGO) (WLS) -- Blackhawks fans across the city are celebrating the return of Lord Stanley to Chicago after the Blackhawks beat the Bruins 3-2 in Boston on Monday night.
Bryan Bickell and Dave Bolland scored 17 seconds apart in the final 1:16 of the third period to bring the Stanley Cup home to Chicago for the second time in the last four seasons.
Outside the United Center in the West Loop, crowds were already thinning out by 11 p.m. Monday night. Chicago police closed off Madison Street outside the arena to discourage crowds from gathering.
Thousands of fans spilled onto Clark Street in Wrigleyville on the city's North Side, where mounted Chicago police officers were stationed to maintain a peaceful celebration. Shortly after midnight, fans were observed throwing bottles and shooting off fireworks on Clark Street as police attempted to slowly clear the street.
Chicago police reported celebratory shots were fired into the air in some sections of the city, but in most areas, celebrations remained peaceful.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel issued the following statement congratulating the Blackhawks: "The City of Chicago is thrilled to congratulate our own Chicago Blackhawks on their hard-fought victory, once again bringing the Stanley Cup back to their sweet home Chicago. Our best wishes go out to the Bruins and the city of Boston for a well-played series. In the past few months, the people of Boston have showed how they can pull together and the Bruins have represented that same spirit, demonstrating what makes Boston a truly world-class city. Our congratulations go out to Rocky Wirtz, Coach Joel Quenneville, the incredible Blackhawks players, and the whole Blackhawks family for their dedication and determination to make Chicago a championship city once again. The City of Big Shoulders stood shoulder to shoulder with the Blackhawks all season and we are all looking forward to welcoming them home as champions."
West Loop prepares for Hawks win
They are stocking the bar full at Union Park Lounge, expecting a long night of hockey and hopefully celebrating a win at Chicago's .
Bartender Rege Panti makes good money during Hawks games, but she hopes Monday night's Game 6 is the last game of the season.
Three years ago, ABC7's John Garcia was among the throng of fans at another Chicago bar which was full of Blackhawks fans, most of whom were born after 1961 and had never witnessed a Chicago Stanley Cup.
2010 was the first Stanley Cup lifelong Hawks fan Craig Schrader saw his team win. He and his father have shared season tickets for 31 years, but they watched the Hawks win the cup three years ago from the bar here.
Police and security personnel are preparing for a huge celebration tonight if the Hawks win and are putting up barricades near the United Center.
Hawks fans represent Chicago in Beantown
Ten minutes from TD Garden is Cambridge, Mass., where a lonely Blackhawks fan dares to wear her gear- but only in a nearby park.
Kim Lavelle teaches high school in suburban Boston. She's determined to school her students on whom to root for.
"They're ruthless, they love to just give me a hard time," said Lavelle.
Kathy Inch and Steve Simpson from Orono, Ontario- home of Hawks winger Brian Bickell- have watched the team in Chicago, Detroit and now Boston during these playoffs.
And for Chicago mortgage broker John Neal, times are good again, allowing him to bring his namesake 3-year-old to Boston to perhaps share a historic moment.
"It's really what it's all about, that's why we're here," said Neal.
But these sentiments should be considered in the context of a city still reeling from the marathon bombings in April. This last of the memorials will be removed Tuesday.
Chicago fans ready to bring Stanley Cup home
And Blackhawks fever is sweeping from the city to the suburbs.
Mike Densford was cutting hair Monday morning at his barber shop in Naperville but he's hoping to be shaving off playoff beards Tuesday morning in a special Blackhawks Barber Chair that he bought online recently.
Densford has his own playoff beard.
And there are other Stanley Cup superstitions.
Nobody is allowed to sit in the chair until after the series.
"I would have used it from the beginning, but because I didn't use it in the beginning I figure it's like the athletes who say they're not going to wash their socks until after a big win," Dansford said. "Nobody's sat in it yet and I can hold out a couple days, hopefully only a few more hours."
Banners and flags downtown are also up to show support for the 2010 Stanley Cup champions.
Fans hoping they'll get the 2013 title are scooping up team gear at the Blackhawks Store on Michigan Avenue.
"Big fan," said Madison Arnsih. "I came up here from Florida to see this game and if we win I get to go to the parade, so I'm really excited."
"It says, 'Beat Boston' on my shirt and on the backside it says 'Bring the Stanley Cup home to Chi-town' and 'Yes we Kane,'" said fan Deanna Richiusa.
"I'm so excited for the game (Monday night), we better win," said Shelby Klivansky.
If the Blackhawks do win Monday night, they will win the Cup again. If they lose, it is back to Chicago for Game 7 on Wednesday.
chicago blackhawks, sports
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