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Hochman: 'He wouldn't stop screaming!' With All-Stars in town, Blues fans see the Stanley Cup

Hochman: 'He wouldn't stop screaming!' With All-Stars in town, Blues fans see the Stanley Cup

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Blues fans meet Stanley

6-year-old Kyson Kersting gleefully cheered while seeing the Stanley Cup, along with his mother, Laura (left) and sister, Kelsie Parker-Pyle (right). Photo courtesy of Laura Kersting

Saw an old friend. He got a new tattoo. This guy is sure into hockey. Got the name of every Blues player on his body.

Yes, Stanley is back in town.

For All-Star Weekend, the Stanley Cup has returned to St. Louis. And at the NHL Fan Fair at Union Station, hundreds (and hundreds) of Blues fans got to see the famous chalice – and the Blues' names engraved upon it.

“It was a dream come true,” said 12-year-old Kelsie Parker-Pyle on Thursday afternoon. “I almost cried I was so happy.”

Wait – aren't you supposed to be in school?

Kelsie flashed a smile, revealing her colorful braces. Her mom also smiled and said: “We played hookey for Stanley.”

Their Blues played hockey for Stanley. Won the Cup last summer. And the stars aligned this week – for the first time since 1989, the All-Star Game was in the town of the defending Stanley Cup champs. So the Hockey Hall of Fame sent the Cup back to St. Louis, in the white-gloved hands of Phil Pritchard, the often-spotted, blond-haired “Keeper of the Cup.”

Wearing a Jordan Binnington sweater, Kelsie explained that she wanted to see the Cup so badly, the family had begun planning a trip to the Hall of Fame.

“We were actually saving for Canada and put in for our passports and everything,” said her mom, Laura Kersting. “And then we found out he was going to be here.”

So, Kersting and her two kids came across the river from Waterloo. They arrived early and thus “stood in line for an hour, in the rain, in the snow, in the cold,” Kersting said. “Right outside of Union Station by the metal detectors – they didn't have the doors open yet. We were soaked.

“And when the doors opened, it was like Christmas morning. We were running through the door as fast as we could to get into line, so we didn't have to wait so long. We were literally skipping! Just overjoyed to go through. There were a lot of people, just swarming in. … I'm glad my kids have fast feet! She has a broken toe but she still managed to make it down the stairs quick. And Kyson being 6 years old with little legs, he kept up!

“We waited 10 minutes in line and them – bam! – there's Stanley. My heart dropped. I was just so excited.”

“I was way too excited!” 6-year-old Kyson said, while still way too excited.

“He wouldn't stop screaming!” Kelsie recalled.

And as the three of them stood in the hallway, they watched as the line grew. And grew. And grew. Looked like it went all the way back to Waterloo. So many local hockey fans, waiting to get a photo with the Stanley Cup.

“We were told it would take two hours – we looked around, saw the line weaving and decided it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity” said Blues fan Emily Hellwege, whose trip through the line ended up only taking one hour. “While in line we made new friends and saw old friends. The couple behind us actually went to the airport at 4 am with their infant kids to greet the team when they returned from Boston, because it was such a special moment in time.

“Once I was next to the Stanley Cup, we all got emotional and couldn’t stop smiling. I actually got a picture with the 'Keeper of the Cup' afterward.”

As for Kersting on the night the Blues beat Boston, “I was in my house on FaceTime with Kelsie's dad – he was at his house. And you couldn't hear anything except for screaming on the other end. It was just chaos – it was great. Jumping up and down, I don't remember what was in my hands, but I threw it!”

“My dad bawled his eyes out,” Kelsie said.

St. Louis won the Cup.

Seven months later, Kelsie got to meet Stanley.

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