THUNDER BAY - For the fifth time in the last decade, the Stanley Cup is back in Thunder Bay.
For the second straight year, it was Matt Murray of the Pittsburgh Penguins lifting the trophy in front of a long line of hockey fans at Fort William Gardens.
It was also the second straight year that the 23-year-old played a large role in securing this day for the city.
Murray took over in net after Marc-Andre Fleury went down with an injury in the first round of the playoffs.
He posted a .937 goals-against-average in 11 playoff games, including a shutout in the clinching game six victory against Nashville.
“I said this last year: I’m very proud to be from this city,” Murray said in a brief speech before taking pictures.
Hundreds of fans we’re equally proud and excited of Murray as they lined up for hours to get a shot with the Cup winner.
Aaron Gunn attended the event with his two kids, and said it was a special moment.
“I think it’s great he comes back and gives back to the community,” Gunn said. “We missed it by about 20 people last year, so this was just fantastic.”
The Panacheese family travelled all the way from Pickle Lake, ON - a nine hour drive just to see the cup.
“It was worth it,” Joey, the father said. “We’ve been Penguins fans since 2002, a long time ago.”
The family had also travelled to Winnipeg earlier in the year to watch him play, but said meeting him in person was surreal.
“It was awesome,” Myeegan, the youngest of the family said.