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Los Angeles Kings fans drink in Stanley Cup viewing

Pacific Community Center played host to hundreds of Los Angeles Kings fans, Stanley Cup for 30 minutes Wednesday.

June 27, 2012|By Andrew Shortall, andrew.shortall@latimes.com
  • As Keeper of the Cup Mike Bolt carries the Stanley Cup, left, Jessica Brunstetter, 27 of Studio City, center, and Anita Papazian, 25 of Pasadena, right, get a brief touch of National Hockey League's Championship trophy during visit to Pacific Community Center and Park Gymnasium in Glendale on Wednesday, June 27, 2012. Hundreds showed up to get a close view of the trophy.
As Keeper of the Cup Mike Bolt carries the Stanley Cup,… (Raul Roa/Staff…)

SOUTHWEST GLENDALE — For about 30 minutes, the Pacific Community Center became the center of the hockey universe with a visit from the Stanley Cup on Wednesday morning.

Hundreds of fans from all over the greater Los Angeles area waited as long as four hours to file into the community center's packed gym to share in the Los Angeles Kings' first reign as the National Hockey League champions by getting the chance to view the 120-year old chalice.

"It's like traveling with a rock star except it doesn't talk," said Michael Altieri, the Kings vice president of communications and content. "People see it and they just light up, it's awesome to watch."

The Stanley Cup was on a nine-stop radio and TV studio tour Wednesday and brothers Tony and Robert Valladares were the first in line outside the Pacific Community Center at 7 a.m. to catch their first glimpse of it in person.

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"It's indescribable, there's no words," said Tony of the Kings championship run. "With the way [the Kings] struggled and were very inconsistent [in the regular season], we always believed they could [win it] but we were never too sure. It's such a relief they won it."

Heading into the postseason the Kings certainly didn't seem poised to win their first Stanley Cup in 45 years. The Kings were seeded eighth — at the bottom of the Western Conference bracket — but still plowed through the playoffs with relative ease.

It only took the Kings 20 games to win the Stanley Cup, as they finished with a 16-4 postseason record, never losing more than two games in a series.

"I think the most meaningful component of it is sharing [the Cup] with the fans," Altieri said. "Just being in the market place for 45 years and never getting too close to winning it and going through the playoffs the way we did — 16-4 — was really a magical time, not only for the organization, but the city."

For Ben Patao, an Atwater Village resident, Wednesday wasn't the first time he'd seen the Stanley Cup, but it was definitely the most special.

"This is the first time I have seen it actually as a fan of the team who's won it," said Patao, a self-proclaimed 25-year, die-hard fan. "It's still unbelievable [we won] because we are so used to disappointment. It was kind of unreal to see it all unfold and all come together. When we finally had it, it was quite incredible, and still at times I don't think we have it yet."

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