June 9th, 2010 was a day that dawned with an uneasy air of anticipation on the part of Chicago Blackhawks fans.
It had been a long two days since their beloved Hawks had moved to within one victory of the team’s first Stanley Cup championship in nearly 50 years with a 7-4 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers at the United Center, but the anticipation grew from a dull roar to a fever pitch as the day wore on.
Then, in Game 6 itself, tensions somehow ran even higher. The Hawks carried a 3-2 lead into the third period, but with four minutes left, Scott Hartnell delivered a kick to the collective gut of the Windy City, tying the game for the Flyers and ultimately forcing overtime.
Once that overtime frame started, however, the rest is history:
Obviously, what happened after Patrick Kane’s goal found the back of the net is still ingrained in the memories of Hawks fans on this, the third anniversary of the play. It was clear that no one knew exactly what had happened in the initial moments, but once replay confirmed that the puck had actually gone in, the city was sent into a frenzied celebration, and the hoisting of the Cup by captain Jonathan Toews will forever be etched into Chicago folklore.
It seems appropriate then that the Hawks would once again be heading back to the Cup Final, and once again be celebrating a game-winning goal by Kane, on June 9th, of all days. Whether history will repeat itself or not remains to be seen, but one thing is for certain: the ride has been just as fun.