Parade and celebration set for June 28 in Chicago
• 10 former IceHogs contributed to Blackhawks’ championship
By Brandon Reid
Senior Assistant Editor
The Chicago Blackhawks skated to history in dramatic fashion Monday, June 24, claiming their fifth Stanley Cup title in franchise history.
The drama came late in game six of the Stanley Cup Finals in Boston. The game entered the third period tied 1-1, but the Bruins went up 2-1 at 12:11 into the third period off a Milan Lucic goal.
The third period dragged on, and the series seemed destined for a game seven — until the Blackhawks’ Bryan Bickell found the back of the net off assists from Jonathan Toews and Duncan Keith at the 18:44 mark, tying the game at 2-2.
Seventeen seconds later, with less than a minute left in the game, Dave Bolland put the game on ice for the Blackhawks with a goal off assists from Michael Frolik and Johnny Oduya. The goal put the Blackhawks up 3-2, ending the series in dramatic fashion.
Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player during the NHL playoffs. He scored a team-high 19 points (nine goals and 10 assists in 23 playoff games) during the playoffs. During the finals against the Bruins, Kane had three goals and two assists.
“I think there were a lot of guys that deserved it,” Kane said on NBC after the announcement. “I think [goalie Corey Crawford] might have gotten snubbed, to be honest with you. It’s a hell of an achievement. I think it speaks more for my team than for myself, personally, playing with great players.
“It was the best year of my life just playing with these guys,” Kane added. “Starting off the season like we did with so many wins, and the pressure of winning the Presidents’ Trophy and hanging onto that pressure all the way to the end, you’re down 2-1 in the last minutes, and then you come through with a win. It’s unbelievable.”
The Blackhawks did not lose a game in regulation through the first half of the strike-shortened 2012-2013 season, going 21-0-3 in the first 24 games and setting a record for the longest point streak to start the season.
The Blackhawks last won the Stanley Cup following the 2009-2010 season. Toews was the winner of the Conn Smythe Trophy that season, after tallying seven goals and 22 assists during the team’s playoff run.
A 2010 victory parade in Chicago following the Blackhawks’ Stanley Cup win over the Philadelphia Flyers drew more than 1 million people. A celebration of this year’s championship is scheduled for Friday morning, June 28, in Chicago.
As of press time, details of this year’s celebration were still uncertain, although Grant Park was one venue being considered for the rally. A parade time and route had not yet been determined. Check http://blackhawks.nhl.com/ for up-to-the-minute details. A live stream of the parade will be on WGN-TV.
The 2010 parade started in the morning and ended with a rally at Michigan Avenue and the Chicago River. The parade started at the United Center and traveled east into downtown, heading down Washington Street to Michigan Avenue, before turning toward the river.
The Rockford IceHogs are the American Hockey League affiliate of the Chicago Blackhawks. Ten former IceHogs were members of the Blackhawks’ 2012-2013 championship run, bringing to 16 the total number of former IceHogs who have won a Stanley Cup.
Former IceHogs goalie Crawford led the way for Chicago, compiling a 16-7 record. He played for Rockford from 2007 to 2010.
Former Rockford forwards Bickell (2007 to 2010) and Bolland (2007 to 2008) both scored goals within 17 seconds of one another in the game’s final moments to win the decisive game.
Other former IceHogs who played a role in the Blackhawks’ second Stanley Cup since 2010 include Brandon Bollig, Niklas Hjalmarsson, Marcus Kruger, Nick Leddy, Brandon Saad, Ben Smith and Andrew Shaw.
Bollig, Kruger, Leddy, Saad, Smith and Shaw all suited up and played for Rockford this past season. For Bickell, Bolland and Hjalmarsson, the 2012 title marked the second of their respective careers.
Overall, 16 former IceHogs have won the Stanley Cup and have totaled 21 rings among them. Other former IceHogs who were member’s of Stanley Cup championship teams include Nick Boynton, Troy Brouwer, Dustin Byfuglien, Colin Fraser (in both 2010 and 2012), Jordan Hendry, Antti Niemi and Kris Versteeg.
The IceHogs play their home games at the BMO Harris Bank Center in downtown Rockford. Tickets and more details are at www.icehogs.com or by calling (815) 847-6399.
From the June 26-July 2, 2013, issue