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Goal by Blackhawks’ Seabrook had special meaning for Riordan family

David Riordan

David Riordan

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The average Blackhawks fan won’t soon forget Game 4 of the Stanley Cup finals, when the Blackhawks evened the series with a thrilling 6-5 overtime victory.

But for the Riordan family of Norwood Park, Game 4 will transcend the level of an average fan’s devotion and become the material of a beloved family legend to be told and retold at every Riordan reunion for generations to come.

On the morning of Game 4, the seven Riordan children buried their patriarch David Riordan, who passed away from cancer at 74 years old. A dedicated Blackhawks fan, David was buried with several meaningful items, including a Seabrook sweater.

“Everyone had the opportunity to throw something into the casket with him that reminded them of him,” said David’s youngest son Danny. “He was a heavy smoker, so we had a pack of cigarettes, a deck of playing cards because he loved gambling, an American flag and an Irish flag, and I put in my Seabrook jersey.”

That night, the family gathered to watch the Blackhawks game. When the referee signaled for the Blackhawks winning goal with 9:51 gone in overtime, David’s oldest son Pat said the family naturally broke out into shouts and cheers. The commotion paused when Pat wondered aloud, “Wait, what jersey was it that was in dad’s casket?”

It was Seabrook who scored the slap shot goal that beat Tuukka Rask to even the series, and it was the defenseman’s number 7 that was buried that same day with David.

“We were all like, ‘Hey thanks dad!’” Pat said. “To have that jersey in his casket and then to have him score the winning goal then was just a very cool feeling. I had the sense that he was involved in it.”

Pat and Danny said hockey was the only American sport that their father, who was raised in Ireland, was ever interested in.

“Hockey was the only sport he ever watched,” Danny said. “He would come home from work and sit in his recliner, and when the ‘Hawks weren’t being televised, he would have the game on the radio while watching another hockey game on TV and reading the paper about the game from the night before-all at the same time.”

“You couldn’t bother him, he was in his ‘Hawks zone and that was it,” Pat said. “We had one TV in the house and you couldn’t watch what you wanted, it was only the ‘Hawks in the house.”

After the symbolic finish of Game 4, it’s clear that David Riordan isn’t ready to leave his ‘Hawks Zone’ anytime soon.

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