DETROIT – The Stanley Cup is back in Detroit’s hands, and Red Wings fans jumped and screamed as their team finished off the Pittsburgh Penguins on the road to take the NHL championship for the fourth time in 11 seasons.
“The Cup has come back to Detroit! We’re Hockeytown,” shouted Greg Litvinskas, 25, of Saginaw, Mich., one of a packed crowd at Mr. B’s Pub in the suburb of Royal Oak. “This is what the city needs.”
When Detroit clinched the Cup with a 3-2 victory in Game 6, the crowd in Mr. B’s erupted in cheers.
Rain started falling early Thursday, and police in Detroit and Royal Oak reported no problems with the crowds, which began thinning out as the downpour increased. Detroit police were blocking some roads into downtown.
About an hour after the game, the sidewalks along Royal Oak’s Main Street entertainment district filled with cheering fans while police tape and officers kept them off the road. Cars passed by blasting their horns.
Police in the Detroit suburb said no incidents or arrests had been reported so far.
“Everyone’s celebrating, everyone’s behaving themselves. It’s a great crowd,” police Deputy Chief Chris Janhke said. “It’s going extremely well.”
Detroit police spokesman James Tate said he also had no reports of trouble.
In downtown Detroit, Joe Louis Arena again was home to fans who cheered, screamed, stomped, shouted and high-fived.
When the final horn sounded, glitter was poured from the catwalk onto several thousand celebrating fans.
Shawn Coppins, 36, of Mount Clemens had a head full of the sparkling stuff.
“After Monday night’s letdown, I’m glad to be here at the Joe for this one,” said Coppins, one of thousands who went to Joe Louis to watch the game via video link from Pittsburgh. “Who wouldn’t enjoy coming here?”
Coppins said he’s looking forward to a parade downtown and even thinks embattled Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick would get a standing ovation in the euphoria of moment.
Minutes after the game, Kilpatrick issued a statement saying the city would hold a victory parade at 11 a.m. Friday.
“Congratulations to the Detroit Red Wings on this great victory. The Wings are a world class team representing a world class city,” he said.
Pat Connors said despite the hour drive from her home in New Hudson to Joe Louis, watching the game at the team’s home arena is “100 times more exciting. You get to party with all the fans.”
Associated Press Writer Ben Leubsdorf in Royal Oak, Mich., contributed to this report.