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Hawks get ready, fans gear up for the game

May 29, 2010 8:20:48 PM PDT
Blackhawks excitement among fans reached a fever pitch ahead of Saturday night's game. The Hawks are in search of their first Stanley Cup since 1961.Fans dressed in red could be seen at the United Center hours ahead of the start of the game Saturday. Other were seen throughout the surrounding neighborhood, just trying to soak in the Stanley Cup atmosphere.

Master Sgt. Bill Swanberg relaxed with a beer and friends at the Billy Goat tavern. An avid Blackhawks' fan, he has watched every game of the Playoffs at 4 a.m. from where he was stationed until last week in Iraq. He tells ABC7 he is glad to be home.

"I turned on a few of my friends to hockey, and especially the Blackhawks. I was getting up to watch it. So, they thought, 'Hey, it might be fun,'" Swanberg said.

Swanburg said he was the only Hawks fan in his company. He also said it was great to be back on U.S. Soil and to see in person what his friends back home enjoyed all season.

"I'm loving it," he said.

"It's been a blast. I haven't been a hockey fan for very long. My fiance got me on to it. But I'm a true Hawks' fan. Love it. Love the game. Love going to the games. Loving the games," said Jennifer Bergdorff. "Great thing to buy into."

The Billy Goat sits just a couple blocks from the United Center and has its own Blackhawks wall of fame. The original Billy Goat opened in 1934 across the street from the old Chicago Stadium.

Of course, the Billy Goat situation has been a little bit of a problem for the Chicago baseball team on the North Side. But the tavern's owner assures there is no Billy Goat curse on the Blackhawks. Most of the fans ABC7 talked to predict the Blackhawks will win in five games.


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