The Rockford IceHogs hosted the Stanley Cup as part of the Blackhawks' organizational celebration on Sunday prior to the IceHogs' 3-1 victory against Lake Erie in front of a sellout crowd.
The line to see the Stanley Cup, as well as the Conn Smythe Trophy and Clarence Campbell Bowl on behalf of the Hockey Hall of Fame, wrapped around the outside of the BMO Harris Bank Center, as well as inside, for hours before, during, and after the Rockford-Lake Erie game. Fans had the opportunity to see, touch, hug, and kiss the Cup, won by the Blackhawks in June for the third time in six years.
Philip Pritchard, the Hall of Fame's famous "Keeper of the Cup," had high praise for the event and passion of IceHogs fans in an interview with 13 Sports. "They appreciate the whole aura behind the Stanley Cup and other NHL trophies. We got here at 11:30 and the game isn't until 4:00, it's been a lineup the entire time. They're thrilled no matter how long the lineup is. It's amazing for them to hang out with it. It's great to hear their stories. They're loyal fans and Rockford has a great hockey community."
As for the AHL game at hand, the IceHogs received goals from Dane Walters, Jake Dowell (shorthanded), and Ryan Hartman (empty net) in their first home game since November 7 following a four-game road trip. Rockford is back in action Wednesday night before Thanksgiving against San Antonio before a Black Friday matchup with Chicago.