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Friday, August 14, 2009
Hockey (B)
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Grand Rapids

Stanley Cup -- in Grand Rapids

Grand Rapids, Minn.

The IRA Civic Center in Grand Rapids hosted royalty on Wednesday -- at least, to the world of sticks, blades, pucks and pads.  The NHL's Stanley Cup, whose rights belong to this year's Pittsburgh Penguins, visited the hometown of Penguins defenseman, former Thunderhawk and 3-year Golden Gopher Alex Goligoski.

Alex on coming home, and on the last seconds of the final game of the Stanley Cup finals versus Detroit

Alex split his time this past season between the Penguins and their AHL affiliate: On his season

In the week following the Cup victory in Pittsburgh, Alex signed a 3 year, $5.5 million deal to remain on the Penguins squad: On the signing

Alex is the first Grand Rapids native to have his name etched on the Cup as a player. (GR native Kurt Kleinendorst was a part of the New Jersey Devils' coaching staff after their Cup win.)
It hasn't quite hit home yet
Winning the Cup is every hockey player's dream
What he's done with the Cup so far
It's time to get back to business
Nothing changes for the team when going from new champion to the defenders
On his hockey career so far
He'll take the same approach this training camp

Alex came up through the ranks of youth hockey in Grand Rapids, split time in high school with the Thunderhawks, River City and Sioux Falls of the USHL and spent three seasons with the Gophers before beginning his professional career in 2007-2008.  Goligoski was the Penguins second round pick (61st overall) in the 2004 NHL entry draft.
On growing up through a great youth hockey program
On Grand Rapids (current) head coach Bruce LaRoque (luh-rock)
Alex signed autographs and posed for photos Wednesday at the IRA Civic Center in Grand Rapids, the hockey arena he played in during his youth and high school careers, and asked for donations for Grand Rapids youth hockey in return.
On bringing the Cup to Grand Rapids
On the Cup's arrival
On his first year as a Penguin

Earlier audio highlights from Grand Rapids Park and Rec Director Dale Anderson:
When / where
On Goligoski’s career – youth hockey through Gophers to the pros
What will happen
Alex’s will not be the first GR name on the cup
Hoping for a good turnout
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