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Blackhawks' Crawford has goalie gear go missing

by Brian Hedger

CHICAGO -- Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford is just shaking his head in disbelief at this point.

First a specially-painted mask that he was supposed to wear this past Saturday night at Soldier Field in the final game of the 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series never arrived. Now, his regular white-based goalie pads and accompanying gear are missing.

Crawford practiced Monday morning at United Center wearing the black gear with red trim that he wore in the Blackhawks' 5-1 victory against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday night. Asked afterward if he'd ever located the mask, Crawford shook his head.

"No, I didn't find my mask and you're not going to believe this, but my pads got stolen at Soldier Field," he said. "White pads, gloves … gone."

Corey Crawford's goalie pads and mask have been missing since Chicago's game at Soldier Field. (Photo: Brian Babineau/NHLI)

Any suspects?

"Actually, I think they did catch someone on camera," Crawford said. "I still can't believe it. I think they're joking. I think my pads are in the back and they're playing a joke on me."

If that were the case, considering the missing mask, it would probably be considered one of the best practical jokes in the League. Instead, the curious case of the missing goalie pads is all too real for Crawford.

"I don't even know what to think anymore," he said. "Seriously. I'm stunned by the whole thing. It's crazy. Unbelievable."

Crawford said the black pads are already broken in, so that's not a big issue. He also has the pads he wore during the 2013 Stanley Cup Final as a personal memento of the Blackhawks' championship.

The missing gear, which was new starting this season, is the stuff he's worn all season. Now, apparently, it's in somebody else's possession.

"I've never seen this before," Crawford said. "I've never heard of this before. It's crazy. The trainers are all stunned that it happened. We were joking around that we may see the guy on [Johnny's Ice House] ice before we get out there [for a practice]."

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