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Blackhawks Tue Sep 17 2013

Mad Dash to a New Season

Thumbnail image for GB blackhawks icon.png It's been 85 days since the Blackhawks raised Lord Stanley at TD Garden back on June 24, after winning Game 6 against the Boston Bruins. Eighty-five champagne-filled, beer-swilling, Cup-toting, finger-wagging days that had this city dreaming of more championships down the road with what looks like a dynasty on paper and what feels like a renewed sense of pride.

As summer was ready to swing into full gear 85 days ago, the city of Chicago was on top of the hockey world. Now, those days of bragging rights are gone, swept over like a Zamboni between periods for a fresh start, as quickly as the 17 seconds it took to get us there.

There's no looking back now as training camp has come and gone and scrimmaging wrapped up to give way to the official preseason. To mark the beginning of a new and full 82-game season, the Blackhawks, in relation with UnitedHealthcare and Fresh Wave Sport, held the "Mad Dash to Madison" 10K skate and 5K run/walk to get the fans ready for another successful run at the Cup.

Skate.jpg.JPGThe official count of 1,539 runners and 178 skater/wheelchair racers made their way through the west-side streets, as fans entering into the United Center for the "Red and White" scrimmage cheered on the competitors in what was a very fan-friendly event.

Parents ran with their kids, who donned Kane and Toews jerseys, over the 3.1 miles with smiles. And afterwards, participants were treated to a free Jonathan Toews bobblehead doll and free entrance to see the veterans stay loose and the young hopefuls battle for a roster spot.

Fans who packed the United Center got to see the Cup in all its glory at center ice and hear Captain Serious, who skated but sat out due to a lower-body injury, address the crowd.

"I can see you're ready for the season. So are we."

HawksScrimmage.jpg.JPGThe capacity crowd cheered along as the White team beat the Red team by a final of 5-2, with goals from Kane, Brandon Bollig amongst the crew, as well as a little glove-dropping between Kyle Beach and Andrew Shaw.

All in all, the event sent the crowd home happy with visions of another championship in their minds. A successful outing such as this, catering to families and diehard fans young and old, only reflects the professional attitude amongst the Blackhawks brass in what has become a very healthy organization over the years.

The preseason starts against the Red Wings with the regular season only a mere two weeks away against the Washington Capitals. And just as fans trained and gathered before the starting line for the "Mad Dash," their team prepares for their starting line some 85 days after winning it all. Time flies when you're on top.

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