DeKALB – Lord Stanley's Bar was rocking early and often Monday night. When Dave Bolland scored the game-winning goal with 59 seconds left in the game, it was pandemonium.
It was only fitting that Lord Stanley's, named for the trophy Hawks captain Jonathan Toews hoisted after their 3-2 win over the Boston Bruins in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final, was home to a big, loud crowd of Hawks fans, who cheered the team on to its fifth title in franchise history.
"It's amazing. I've been waiting since 2010," said Jordan Sopko, one of many fans donning a red Blackhawks jersey. "Win the President's Trophy, win the cup. Heck of a season."
Sopko even had a playoff beard going.
"Shaved it right before the playoffs began," he said. "Grown it since, man."
The win capped a spectacular season for the Hawks, who opened the lockout-shortened campaign with a 24-game point streak and they won their second President's Trophy for having the best record during the regular season.
Fans packed the downtown DeKalb bar, wearing Hawks T-shirts and jerseys with names of players such as Toews, Conn Smythe winner Patrick Kane and even old-school goalie Ed Belfour.
The crowd went crazy for each of the Hawks goals, and the loudness didn't seem to stop after Bryan Bickell's goal with 1:16 left remaining in the third period, and Bolland's game-winner less than 30 seconds later.
The eruption was 10 times louder when the horn sounded and the celebration began. Plenty of fans filled Lord Stanley's throughout the game. It was tough to even find a single seat.
"I basically went from really upset and mad, thinking there was going to be a Game 7, to jubilation," said Daniel Honeyman, who was sporting a red Hawks shirt with Toews' No. 19 on it. "I can't even put it into words. ... It was awesome."
Chicago's celebration will probably last for a few days. The cup will be shown constantly on television, and there's certain to be a downtown parade later in the week, just like there was back in 2010.