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Hawks fans celebrate Minnesota win

Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM

“Detroit is trying to ruin our Sunday, just like it ruined the American auto industry.”

So said the DJ at the Blackhawks-crazed West End Bar & Grill on Madison — a few blocks from the United Center, where a Detroit player had just put the Red Wings ahead of the Hawks 4-2.

Well, the auto industry is coming back, but the Hawks couldn’t.

And Sunday, if not ruined, was at least somewhat spoiled for Chicago hockey fans at the packed bar.

But the Hawks were saved by Minnesota later that evening. The Dallas Stars’ 5-3 loss to the Minnesota Wild gave the Hawks a playoff spot.

“I am extremely happy,’’ said Chris Olsen, who was at the bar during the Hawks game but at his Chicago home during the Minnesota victory. “I’m relieved. I think they [the Hawks] are pretty lucky, but hopefully they’ll get hot and make a run in the playoffs. I hope so. . . . We owe Minnesota a big one.’’

Diane Carlson of Aurora said about the Hawks game, “I couldn’t believe it, they just ran out of time. Why did it come down to the last minute and the last game after all those games they could have won, should have won?”

Carlson and her husband, Bob, both sporting Blackhawks jerseys at the bar, have held season tickets for four years.

“Even though it wasn’t a playoff, it was playoff hockey,” said Bob Carlson. “The Hawks could have just kind of backed away, but they stayed and fought.”

During the game, both Hawks scores prompted a blast from a goal horn just like the one at the UC, and bar patrons sang along with “Chelsea Dagger.”

But the happy moments did not last, as each time Detroit quickly answered with goals of its own.

Olsen, sitting at the bar with friends, said the Hawks “gave the puck away too many times, but they gave it their all.”

With the Hawks game over, Olsen exclaimed, “Go Minnesota!”

And they did.

Contributing: Rosemary Sobol

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