Chicago ends 49 years of Stanley Cup hurt
By Larry Fine
PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) - The Chicago Blackhawks ended 49 years of Stanley Cup frustration with a 4-3 overtime victory over the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday that clinched the National Hockey League's best-of-seven championship series.
Patrick Kane's goal early in the first sudden-death overtime period gave the Blackhawks a 4-2 series win for their first title since 1961, a drought that was the longest of any franchise in the 30-team league.
Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews, who scored seven goals in the playoffs and 22 assists including one on Chicago's first goal on Wednesday, was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as most valuable player for his team in the NHL playoffs.
Not since the days of Hall of Famers Bobby Hull, Stan Mikita and goalie Glenn Hall had the Blackhawks hoisted the Cup, and Chicago unleashed nearly 50 years of frustration with a euphoric celebration on Philadelphia's home ice.
"The spell, the number of years that this team has been close and never won a Stanley Cup, you want to do it for every guy in your locker room and your fans but especially for guys like Bobby and Stan and the guys that came before you who made this team and this crest so special," Toews told reporters.
Gloves and sticks were scattered over the ice as Chicago players mobbed one another, while Flyers fans sat in stunned silence after Kane snuck a puck past Philadelphia goalie Michael Leighton about four minutes into overtime.
The red light to signal a goal did not go off right away but that did not stop Chicago players from celebrating. After a brief review the goal was ruled good.
"I just tried to hold onto the puck and shot at the net. I don't think anyone knew it was in but me," Kane said in an on-ice interview after the game. "This is just surreal, we just won the Cup." Continued...