WICKER PARK — A U.S. Congressman, a seventh-grader and an NHL Hall of Famer have at least one thing in common.
Those predictions came Tuesday morning as U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Chicago) and former Blackhawks great Denis Savard stopped by Jonathon Burr Elementary in Wicker Park to donate hockey equipment and hold a clinic for students at the school.
Quigley, who has been playing hockey since age 6 and still plays twice a week, said he recently tore his hamstring during a charity hockey game in Washington D.C. But he didn't let the injury hold him back from tending goal as Burr students scrimmaged against each other Tuesday.
"It was a lot of fun playing goalie today," Quigley said after the game. "Crutch in one hand, stick in the other, still gives me a chance to have some fun."
The equipment donations and hockey clinic were part of the StreetHawks Youth Hockey program, which offers kids around the city a chance to play floor hockey.
Burr students decked out in Blackhawks jerseys laughed as they polished their stick skills. Seventh grader Rafael Vazquez said the experience was a blast, especially getting to play with a Hall of Famer like Savard.
"The opportunity to get to play with a great Blackhawks player and then having fun with my friends also, it's pretty cool," Vazquez said.
Savard performed some stick tricks for the students, and as he dabbed sweat off his face after the game, said he was "honored" to be involved in the StreetHawks program.
"It's a lot of fun," he said. "I got my work out done, that's for sure."
Turning to Wednesday night's game against the Detroit Red Wings, Savard said the Blackhawks are under some pressure but he thinks the team will ultimately come through since many of its players "know what it takes to win" after taking the Stanley Cup in 2010.
"Pressure's back on us, but we have the experience and we have the momentum," he said. "I think we can handle the pressure."
Vazquez said he also believes the Blackhawks will grab a victory, especially after the come-from-behind win Monday night to even the series at 3 games apiece after the Red Wings were up 3 games to 1.
"It was a thriller man," he said, smiling. "They came back after being down 3-1. Oh, they're gonna win Wednesday."
Vazquez pointed to the fact it took seven games for the Red Wings to put away the Anaheim Ducks in the first round of the playoffs.
"They must be tired out, and the Blackhawks have been doing good in their power play," Vazquez said.
Vazquez said he'll be watching the game from home, but Quigley said he is opting out of a fundraising dinner with President Barack Obama Wednesday to attend the game in person at the United Center.
"I'm going to call [President Obama] today and tell him I'd rather go to Game 7," Quigley said, decked out in Blackhawks gear from his shirt to his socks.
And like Savard and Vazquez, Quigley is predicting a Chicago victory.
"Hawks are gonna win by two goals," he said.