BOSTON -- Fans wearing Blackhawks jerseys had several things in common as they strolled down Legends Way on Monday afternoon outside TD Garden, aside from their obvious bravery.
They had made the decision to travel to Boston regardless of expense, difficulty or companionship, because they were going to be in the building for Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final.
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Shawn Vercillo, of Elmhurst, is a season-ticket holder in the 300 level at the United Center and he flew all night to be here in case the Hawks clinched in Boston.
"I wasn't going to miss this. No way, no how," said Vercillo. "I couldn't be in Philly for Game 6 in 2010, but now I work for the airlines so I got on the red eye and came here.
"I didn't want to miss it again. I always regretted not being in Philadelphia."
Vercillo, wearing a red jersey with the words "Detroit S----" on the back, traveled alone and paid only $279 for a seat upstairs after prices began falling following the Bruins' Game 5 loss in Chicago.
"I would have paid a lot more to get it, but I'm thrilled,'' Vercillo said. "Now, they just need to finish this off so I can say I saw history made here."
Paul Erickson, formerly of Schaumburg and Rockford, also traveled alone to see the Hawks, but the Phoenix resident had a different approach to finding a ticket.
"I'm sitting in the first row on the glass,'' said Erickson, who was wearing a No. 36 Dave Bolland jersey. "Not too cheap. That's all I'm going to say."
Face value for the ticket was about $800, and one site had a similar seat going for about $4,500.
"Worth every penny," Erickson said. "I came by myself because I needed to be here. Got on the red eye and arrived at 7:30 this morning. Long day, but I'll feel a lot better after the Hawks win."
This is hardly Erickson's first game. Erickson, who owns a company that produces industrial heat exchangers, went to the last four games of the Detroit series and Games 3 and 4 in Los Angeles.
"I was wearing my helmet and gloves and shooting tennis balls at the wall in Game 3 against Detroit when they lost. I dropped everything and said, 'My boys need me.' So I've been going ever since," Erickson said. "I have reservations to fly to Chicago if necessary, or Phoenix if we win. I'm just not missing this."
Judging by the number of red Hawks jerseys around the stadium and in the stands, hundreds -- maybe even a thousand -- Hawks fans felt the same way.