Penguins' Fans Savor Team's 3rd Stanley Cup Title

By Wereschagin, Mike | Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, June 13, 2009 | Go to article overview

Penguins' Fans Savor Team's 3rd Stanley Cup Title


Wereschagin, Mike, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


After the last second ticked off the clock at Joe Louis Arena, the crowds spilled onto sidewalks around the city as Pittsburgh screamed for its new champions.

Leaning out of windows above South Side bars, people banged pots and pans together, as the crowd below cheered on the Stanley Cup champion Penguins.

Among the crowd that flooded South Side sidewalks, the Foam Finger Guy -- born Andrew Austin, 22, of West Deer -- prowled East Carson Street, hoisting his faded faux finger to lead chants of "Lets Go Pens!"

A man proclaiming himself too drunk to talk to a reporter held with white-gloved hands a replica Stanley Cup over his head and encouraged passersby to kiss it.

"It feels great. Once (Detroit) made it 2-1 (in the third period), I was definitely nervous, but I knew right away we were going to take it," said Josh Kaninski, 25, of Carrick, standing on the sidewalk outside Finn McCools in the South Side. "It feels fantastic. We're the city of champions."

The Penguins were still skating around the rink with the Stanley Cup when people began pouring out into the streets in the South Side.

Police reported about 400 to 500 people crowded into the intersection of East Carson and 19th streets. A few moments later, police blocked off East Carson from 10th Street to the Birmingham Bridge.

A few small fires were reported on the street in Oakland and the South Side.

Some revelers broke windows in the 1400 block of East Carson Street, and police began clearing the street around 11:30 p.m. Around midnight, police -- some on horseback and others on foot with dogs -- began making arrests as they ordered the crowd to clear out.

After Max Talbot's second goal, Dave Currink, who was celebrating his 25th birthday bar-hopping with friends and a tray of Penguins birthday cupcakes, stood at the bar at Dee's Cafe in the South Side and screamed, "This is the best birthday ever!"

For some, last night was the last hurrah in a season's worth of playoff rituals. Dean Falavolito, 31, of Carnegie, met three friends at the Sports Rock Cafe in the Strip District before almost all the home games. Since the Penguins won each Stanley Cup home game, "we figured it was good luck," Falavolito said.

Gina Malkin -- a pink, 9-inch-tall stuffed bunny, which dances and plays a Shania Twain tune when owner Tom Dugan squeezes its foot -- stood on Dugan's table at Jerome Bettis' Grille 36 on the North Shore. …

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