Blackhawks’ win means ‘everything for the city,’ fans say

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A Blackhawks fan hoists a replica Stanley Cup among the crowds celebrating at Clark and Addison on Monday night. | Brian Jackson/For the Chicago Sun-Times

The party continued through the night and into Tuesday morning after the Chicago Blackhawks won their third Stanley Cup in six years Monday night.

Half of the city seemed to be adorned in Blackhawks colors — babies,students on their way to class, downtown workers. One man clad in redpushed his bicycle with one hand and held a bottle wrapped in blackplastic in the other.

“I love it!” he shouted, as he hopped on his bike, tossed the emptyinto a city garbage can and headed for work.

Crowds swelled onto Madison after the Blackhawks victory over the Lightning in Game 6. Bleary eyed, some were still celebrating ten hours later — or had got up bright and early hoping to catch up with the cup as the Blackhawks took it on a victory tour of the city.

Outside The Scout bat in the South Loop, the signs looked promising — half a dozen black SUVs with tintedwindows were lined up outside.And ofcourse the Blackhawks showed up here last time they won it all.

But by7 a.m., Ginger Romanelli, a Hawks’ fan since the 1970s, washaving her doubts. Still, she didn’t mind too much.

The wait gave hera chance to reflect on last night’s glorious win and to shed a fewtears over the fact that her brother, Jimmy Bags, wasn’t there tocelebrate with her.

He died of cancer last year, she said.“I know my brother was watching from Heaven,” Romanelli wrote on herFacebook page after the win.

Romanelli attributed the win, in part, to the “Juju” in her homeduring last night’s game — players jerseys and towels draped overevery couch and chair, which no one was allowed to touch, she said.

“Of course it worked!” she said. “We won! We won at home in themadhouse.This is Chi, baby— proudest city in the world! Nobodythrows a party like Chicago. You wait!”

Loyal fans clad in red and black had helped the United Center live up to its nickname, truly becoming the “Madhouse on Madison” on Monday evening. People held replicas of the Stanley Cup above their heads — the prize and title that the Hawks have now earned three times in the past six years.

That they clinched it at home in front of the fans elevated the excitement about winning the Stanley Cup. Despite all the rain, fans came out in droves.

Many said that the win solidified a dynasty for the hockey team — and it meant “everything for the city.”

Celebrations continued down Madison. Nearby bars including the Billy Goat Tavern and the Palace Grill were popular spots for fans to cheer on the home team.

“It’s a great thing for the city, especially with all the trouble and things going on in Chicago,” said Anas Masoud, a local business owner who had a Chicago flag wrapped around him. “This kind of unites everyone.”

Evangelia Galvis and her daughter Athena, who live just blocks away from the United Center, rode over on their bike when they heard the cheers. “This win means Chicago,” the mother said. “It means it’s our turn.”

Meanwhile in Wrigleyville, just before the game ended, fans watching in bars counted down the last few seconds: 3 . . . 2 . . . 1!

As soon as the horn blew, signaling the end of the game, fans sprinted out of the bars to the intersection of Clark and Addison, where thousands of people gathered for an impromptu rally.

A man carried a tinfoil replica Stanley Cup over his head as fans cheered him on.

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Steven Deutsch (left) and Gabe Duarte, longtime friends from Skokie, celebrate in Wrigleyville. | LeeAnn Shelton/Sun-Times

Steven Deutsch and Gabe Duarte, both of Skokie, went to Wrigleyville to celebrate the victory and to be a part of something bigger than themselves.

“We needed to be a part of the Chicago experience,” Deutsch said. “We needed to watch the game with our city.”

As of 11:30 p.m., Chicago Police in Wrigleyville said there had been no major disturbances. Police barricades lined the side streets, but fans were walking freely up and down Clark and milling about the neighborhood.

By midnight, police officers on bikes lined the intersection of Clark and Addison as they tried to corral fans, encouraging them to move west on Addison.

Anne Purdy, 28, of Chicago, said her dad, who played for a Canadian hockey league, is a season-ticket holder. She was going to go to the game with him but decided to let her younger sister go instead. “I’m on their good side for the rest of my life,” Purdy said, referring to her parents.

Andrew Brown, of Lake View, watched Game 6 with his friends at a neighborhood bar.

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Andrew Brown, of Lake View (second from left) and his friend Jeffrey Marks celebrate with friends after the Blackhawks’ victory. | LeeAnn Shelton/Sun-Times

“There’s nothing more fun than when there’s thousands of people celebrating the same thing,” Brown said.

Fellow Lake View resident Jeffrey Marks, who is originally from Homewood but spent time in Colorado, said seeing a championship is extra special. “It’s incredible. I’ve never been here for a championship and I’ve always wanted to be here for one,” he said.

Eileen Felton, who lives about a block from Wrigley Field, came out to watch the revelers in her neighborhood.

The victory meant a lot to Felton, “a longtime fan, at least before the three cups and before they showed the games on TV,” she said.

For Steven Pearson of Morris, celebrating the Blackhawks’ championship in the shadows of Wrigley Field is a new family ritual.

“Two years ago we came here and they won,” Pearson said. “We couldn’t break tradition.”

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Vince Robinson gave his Game 6 ticket to his daughter. “I’m letting her get this chance to see them win,” he said before the game Monday night. | Jordyn Holman/Sun-Times

Earlier Monday evening, Vince Robinson was standing outside the United Center. He had given his ticket to his teenage daughter.

“I’m letting her get this chance to see them win,” the nine-game season-ticket holder said.

“I’m hoping she gets to see the Cup won here tonight. We’ve been pretty lucky with Game 6’s.”

In 2013, he had tickets to see the Hawks win in Game 7, but they clinched the title against Boston in Game 6.

“If we win it’ll be a great night for my daughter, me and the city,” he said.

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