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Ekblad bringing Stanley Cup to Essex County

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The party continues in Florida after the Panthers claimed the franchise’s first Stanley Cup Monday night in a 2-1 game seven win over Edmonton.

“You know we're going to bring it home. I don't know if Paul's (Panther’s head coach) going to be bringing it there too but it's going to be a party in Lakeshore,” Belle River's Aaron Ekblad told CTV News this afternoon from a player’s house.

He was working on two hours of sleep after winning the Stanley Cup.

“It's amazing. I mean everything you could possibly imagine. It's like a dream, right. You dream of it as a kid but you never really truly believe that it's going to happen until those seconds tick off the clock. It's like nothing you could ever imagine,” he said.

Proud parents Dave and Lisa watched their son, chosen first overall by Florida in the 2014 NHL Draft, take his turn skating around Amerant Bank Arena with Lord Stanley's Cup following the game.

“It was incredible,” said Ekblad’s dad, who got to hoist the cup as well. “It was surreal just to see him skating with the cup. Just never imagined it could happen.”

Florida head coach Paul Maurice said prior to game seven, he'd like to win the cup once.

After he did, he gave thanks to his hometown Sault Ste. Marie, the city of Winnipeg, and the town of LaSalle during an interview on national TV.

Jackie Murray was proud of her brother-in-law and super happy for her sister.

“Playing hockey in Windsor, and his wife is from here and her extended family, and he comes back here a lot, so LaSalle is a big thing for Paul. His kids all know LaSalle,” Murray said.

Although an Oilers’ fan, retired teacher Andromeda Dean enjoyed watching Maurice and Ekblad hoist the cup.

“The way he spoke about Aaron Ekblad in the interview after. Wow. It really warmed my heart,” Dean said. “It actually makes me feel pretty good about the outcome. Not great, but it was the silver lining.”

The Stanley Cup made an appearance at the beach Tuesday as Matthew Tkachuk took it for a dip in the ocean.

LaSalle Mayor Crystal Meloche doesn't know if the cup will make an appearance in her town via Maurice but is more than willing to embrace the opportunity.

“Our hopes is that they bring it home to the town of LaSalle for our residents to be able to enjoy and celebrate with them,” said Meloche.

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