ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
And I'm Audie Cornish. Oh, what a day to be a hockey fan in Chicago. The city is celebrating its Stanley Cup champions after last night's thrilling come-from-behind victory over the Boston Bruins. The Blackhawks stunned the Bruins and all of Boston by tying the game with just a minute and 16 seconds left in the final period. Then, just 17 seconds later, the game-winning puck flew into the goal.
Chicago now has its second NHL title in four years. Here's NPR's David Schaper with a taste of the celebration.
(SOUNDBITE OF SPORTSCAST)
DAVID SCHAPER, BYLINE: After watching those final seconds tick down on NBC and seeing the Blackhawks players throw their gloves and sticks into the air and dance in celebration around goalie Corey Crawford, three 9-year-old boys bolted out of a brick bungalow on Chicago's northwest side, running up and down the sidewalk screaming with joy.
(SOUNDBITE OF BOYS YELLING)
SCHAPER: Neighbors James Davern(ph) and twins Nicholas and Joe Dalia(ph) ran outside and then back inside to watch the handshakes and trophy presentations, then back outside again and back inside. Calling these boys excited is an understatement. Here's Nick Dalia.
NICK DALIA: The game was awesome.
SCHAPER: And brother Joe.
JOE DALIA: It was nerve-wracking. I thought they were gonna lose. My legs were shaking.
SCHAPER: After the Bruins dominated the first period, the Blackhawks trailed one to nothing. So James Davern explains what he thinks turned things around.
JAMES DAVERN: During intermission, we all got our sweaters on and our hats and right when we got back, they scored. I think we brought good luck to them.
SCHAPER: As the boys took off outside to whoop it up again, others in the city poured out into the streets to celebrate, too, some shooting off fireworks. I mean, why wait for the 4th of July now?
GARY RYBICKI: It was a great game. Oh.
SCHAPER: Gary Rybicki(ph) is out walking his dog and just grinning from ear to ear.
RYBICKI: Unbelievable. I'm thinking, okay, it's going to go to Game 7 and, all of a sudden, boom, boom. I go - I couldn't believe it. The whole house was going nuts. My daughter - unfortunately my son's at work, so he missed it. But, oh, what a fantastic finish. But that's the way they've been playing all season.
SCHAPER: Indeed, it was a season for the record books, albeit a lockout shortened and delayed one, as the Blackhawks established a new NHL mark for the best start. They didn't lose in regulation time in 24 straight games. They also fought back from being down three games to one against Detroit earlier in the playoffs and against the Bruins, they overcame a two games to one deficit, winning the final three straight to clinch the three-foot-high, 35-pound trophy and challis known as Lord Stanley's cup.
After the game, Blackhawks coach Joe Quenneville called his team charmed, from the way we started the season and the way we ended, adding it was a fairy tale ending to an amazing season. And at 4:30 this morning, a crowd of some 2,000 fans greeted the fans at Harry Caray's restaurant near O'Hare Airport after the team plane returned from Boston with the cup.
The players then carried the Stanley Cup all around the city all day. Chicago is planning a massive parade and rally to celebrate the Stanley Cup victory on Friday in Grant Park along the city's lakefront. David Schaper, NPR News, Chicago.
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