Fans celebrate win after longest game in Blackhawks history

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Fans gather at Union Park Lounge to the Blackhawks 2015 playoff run. (Scott Guthrie/Medill)

By Scott Guthrie and Sam Fiske

Fans who stayed up to watch the Blackhawks’ thrilling triple-overtime playoff win over Anaheim, might have had to start their Wednesday morning workday with a triple espresso.

When the final horn sounded at 1:15 a.m. Chicago time, the
Blackhawks had defeated the Ducks 3-2 in Game 2 of the Western Conference finals, the longest game in Blackhawks’ history.

“It was kind of just a marathon watching it,” said Andy Michalek, 22, who viewed the game with his roommates. “It was more of a relief that it was over so that I could finally take a shower and go to bed and get ready for [today].”

Michalek wasn’t alone. Approximately 361,000 Chicago households were watching the game at 1:15 a.m. according to television ratings obtained by the Chicago Tribune. The game scored a 12.4 overnight rating in Chicago, with 1 point equaling roughly 35,000 homes or approximately 434,000 total.

“It was pretty much I had to stay up,” said Devin Joyner, manager at Foot Locker in the Loop. Although he stayed up to watch the game, Joyner said he still had to be at work early Wednesday.

“Life of a store manager, right?” he said.

Not everyone could justify staying up for the epic overtime win. Rachel Damerjian, a DePaul student, said she turned the game off at 12:45 a.m.

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“I had school this morning,” said Damerjian, wearing a Blackhawks jersey. “I had to be up by 8:30.”

Many viewers may have turned off the TV during the second overtime after Blackhawks’ center Andrew Shaw appeared to score the game-winning goal…with his head.

With 8:47 left in the second overtime the puck went airborne in front of the Ducks’ goal, level with Shaw’s head. Doing his best soccer impression, Shaw thrust forward and headed the puck past Ducks goalie Frederick Andersen.

“[He used] soccer skills, so I thought that was crazy,” Damerjian said. “They were basically doing anything to get that puck in the back of the net.”

After review, the goal was waved off (the rule stating offensive players can’t direct the puck into the net with anything other than their sticks), and play continued.

“I think it should count if you’re willing to put your head on the puck,” said Joe O’Brien, 22 from Chicago.

Although disallowed, the play highlighted a crazy, back-and-forth game that featured a 110-minute Blackhawks scoring drought, career-highs in saves by Chicago goalie Corey Crawford with 60 and Andersen with 53, and multiple shots grazing off posts and crossbars.

After playing almost two full games, the Blackhawks and Ducks will have a little less than two full days to prepare for Game 3 Thursday in Chicago.

In the Hawks’ lockerroom after the draining victory, Shaw expressed to reporters what many exhausted fans may also be thinking.

“I just hope we don’t have any more like that,” he said.

Photo at top: Fans gather at Union Park Lounge to the Blackhawks 2015 playoff run. (Scott Guthrie/Medill)