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Close To The Cup: Blackhawks Go For Series Win In Philadelphia Tonight

Let's start this morning, as we await the Blackhawks and Flyers tonight in game 6, with David Haugh's look back in the Tribune at Game 6 of the last Hawks Stanley Cup year in 1961, in particular, to the man who scored what turned out to be the decisive goal, Ab McDonald:

Tied at 1 in the second period of Game 6 against the Red Wings, McDonald trailed [Bobby] Hull as he streaked up the ice at typical breakneck speed. Hull fired a shot just inside the right circle that Wings goalie Hank Bassen stopped, but the rebound slid out to McDonald just as Hull's momentum caused him to knock Bassen backward to leave an empty net.

A flick of the wrist later, history was made.

"Bobby was on a rush and I was just at the right place at the right time," McDonald recalled. "It was just a matter of banging it in the net and then we were off to the races."

The Hawks scored three more goals to win the Cup in a 5-1 rout, but Hawk-ologists recognize McDonald's goal as the one that broke the Red Wings' spirit. McDonald won three titles with the Canadiens before coming to the Hawks in 1960, his first of four seasons with the team, but always will get introduced in Chicago as the guy who scored the goal that won the Cup in '61.

I asked McDonald if he was looking forward to this year's fan convention next month so he could sign autographs next to whoever scores the Hawks' biggest goal since his, 49 years ago.

"Now that would be great," McDonald said.

Who will be tonight's hero? Find out starting at 7 p.m. CDT.