Hockey

Stanley Cup champs parade through Pittsburgh

The Pittsburgh Penguins paraded through the downtown core on Monday to the cheers of an estimated 350,000 hometown fans to celebrate their third Stanley Cup in franchise history.

The Pittsburgh Penguins paraded through the downtown core on Monday to the cheers of thousands of fans celebrating the third Stanley Cup championship in franchise history.

Pittsburgh Police estimate 375,000 people turned up for the celebration, throwing confetti, sporting team jerseys and holding tinfoil replicas of the cup. 

Captain Sidney Crosby and goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury rode with the coveted cup in one of many trucks carrying players through the crowded streets, while playoff MVP Evgeni Malkin was accompanied by his Conn Smythe trophy.

Team owner Mario Lemieux was among the leaders of the parade in a white convertible.

"Finally, after 17 years, the Stanley Cup is back where it belongs, right here in the city of Pittsburgh," Lemieux said to a roaring crowd gathered at the end of the parade in downtown Pittsburgh.

"This has truly been an unbelievable year from the start. We get to enjoy a great summer and a championship." 

Sidney Crosby told the enthusiastic crowd they deserved a championship, and that his team won't be stopping at one, either.

"We want to go for more," Crosby said.

"I just want to say it was a privilege and an honour to go through this with everyone," he added. "We've all dreamed of doing this, and let's do it again some other time."

Police were ready for a big crowd after the Super Bowl victory parade in February drew about 300,000 fans to the streets of Pittsburgh, two days after the Steelers won Super Bowl XLIII. 

Fans lined the Stanley Cup victory parade route starting early in the morning Monday to prepare for the noon-hour celebration.

"It's unbelievable, bringing this trophy back to Pittsburgh, the city of champions," said coach Dan Bylsma, who took over the team a little over four months ago.

"Much better than Hockeytown," Bylsma added, a comment that again got the crowd going.

The Penguins' parade route was the same as for the Super Bowl celebration.

Pittsburgh won the Stanley Cup on Friday with a down-to-the-wire 2-1 victory in Game 7 of the finals in Detroit against the defending Stanley Cup champion Red Wings.

With files from The Associated Press

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