CHICAGO (AP) - The Chicago Blackhawks brought the Stanley Cup home and proceeded to take it on a pub crawl. Hundreds of ecstatic fans flocked to taverns and restaurants in hopes of catching a glimpse of their beloved players and the sacred trophy awarded to the NHL champion.
The team returned to Chicago hours after beating the Bruins in Boston for their second title in four years. Just like in 2010, their first stop was at Harry Caray's sports bar-restaurant in suburban Rosemont, where more than a thousand fans were waiting before sunrise to greet the team and get a chance to see the Cup.
The Blackhawks plane landed at O'Hare around 4 in the morning. They received a water cannon salute from about a dozen fire trucks and police cars, all with their lights flashing.
Veteran forward Michal Handzus was the first player to emerge from the aircraft, hoisting the 35-pound cup above his head with both hands and shaking it several times. Guests, police officers and firefighters cheered at the bottom of the stairs. Players, coaches and team officials mingled with the crowd for about 10 minutes before heading for the city to continue the party that began in Chicago shortly after the team stunned Boston by scoring twice in a 17-second span during the final 1:16 to produce the thrilling 3-2 win on Boston's home ice.