DeKalb celebrates Blackhawks victory

By Jacob Onak

Those who weren’t at Lord Stanley’s really missed a scene last night.

The bar was packed, red and white all over. Tommy Hawk heads proudly worn on peoples’ chests, all there to cheer on their beloved Blackhawks — and boy, they didn’t disappoint.

Throughout the playoffs Stanley’s, 142 E. Lincoln Highway, has been home to a number of DeKalb residents who bleed for the Hawks. Owner Mark Thompson said it’s the specials that bring the fans in.

“The pizza deal that we have is probably the biggest thing,” Thompson said. “It’s our best thing we do. We have pizza and cheap pitchers for $17.”

As for business, Thompson said the Blackhawks crowds make the insanity worth it.

“It’s the best…incredible,” Thompson said. “Monday night’s [business] is tripled than what we normally do.”

Game 6 was tied at 1-1 in the start of the third. Stanley’s patrons’ eyes were glued to the TV’s propped up on the walls. When Boston’s Milan Lucic put the puck in the back of the net with 7:49 to go in the game, the crowd groaned.

Denise Goalander, a 41-year-old Stanley’s regular, said it’s the energy that brings new faces through the bar doors.

“I think a lot of people come here because they really enjoy the atmosphere and the excitement of what’s going on,” Goalander said. “Not always for the game but for the energy.”

With three minutes left, the shots were coming for the Hawks. The men in white were pressing, putting pressure on the Bruins, and with just 1:16 left the bar erupted: Fists in the air, high fives all around, everyone at Stanley’s celebrating Bryan Bickell’s tying goal.

One would think the bar couldn’t get any louder, but they would be proven wrong just 17 seconds later. Dave Bolland’s goal set Lord Stanley’s into an unexpected explosion. The surprise, the expressions and the pure noise was incredible. The joy quickly turned to tension though, as the Hawks still had some game left to play.

A cheer for a cleared puck here, a groan for a Boston shot there — what was less than a minute seemed like an hour. The clock hit zero, and once again Stanley’s was filled with pure joy. Chelsea Dagger blasted, fans sang along and there were even more hugs.

The cheers kept going as captain serious, Jonathan Toews, lifted the cup, and the cheers continued when someone saw their favorite player. One of the loudest was for goaltender Corey Crawford.

Jed Hall, a 25-year-old student, regularly attended the bar

throughout the playoffs and couldn’t believe the way Chicago won Monday.

“Even going back all the way to Detroit I think was a pretty epic series, Game 7 win. You couldn’t beat that game,” Hall said. “Even just this game, they came back from one down to 3-1. Even this game, that’s crazy.”

Evan Cherney, a 24-year-old student, said it best.

“Epic,” Cherney said. “It’s like Christmas.”