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Maroon hometown hero for Blues in Game 7 win against Stars

Says 2OT winner to put St. Louis in Western Conference Final is 'the biggest goal I ever scored'

by Mike Zeisberger @Zeisberger / Staff Writer

ST. LOUIS -- Pat Maroon looked down to see the puck sitting inches from the goal line. Here was the culmination of his childhood dream waiting to come to fruition. All he needed to do was finish the job and relish a moment that had been a lifetime in the making.

In an instant, one thought dominated his mind.

"Make sure you get the [darn] puck in," the St. Louis Blues wing said. "If I miss that, I'd be on the other side of it. A lot of boos instead of being the hero."

So he put it in and became a hero. To his family. To the Blues. To the city he grew up in.

"I wanted it," Maroon said. "It's the biggest goal I ever scored."

Video: DAL@STL, Gm7: Maroon's 2OT goal sends Blues to WCF

Maroon's goal at 5:50 of the second overtime was the series winner, a 2-1 victory against the Dallas Stars in Game 7 of the Western Conference Second Round at Enterprise Center on Tuesday. The Blues advance to the Western Conference Final, where they will play the winner of the San Jose Sharks-Colorado Avalanche series, which is tied 3-3.

That the Blues have reached the NHL's Final Four is a remarkable story, given that they were in 31st place in the NHL standings on Jan. 3. Their Cinderella-like climb back to relevance continues to gain traction thanks to a memorable night no one in these parts will soon forget.

It didn't come easy though.

The Blues dominated most of the game with little to show for it. St. Louis defenseman Vince Dunn and Dallas wing Mats Zuccarello each scored in the first period to leave the teams tied 1-1 after 20 minutes.

Then the Blues put their collective foot on the gas.

St. Louis outshot Dallas 31-4 over the next two periods, only to see Stars goalie Ben Bishop stop everything they fired his way. The Blues held a 52-27 advantage after the first overtime period, yet the game remained knotted at 1-1.


[RELATED: More Blues vs. Stars coverage | Bishop's 52 saves not enough for Stars in Game 7]


Maroon had seen this spectacular act from Bishop before. He, like Maroon, had grown up in the St. Louis area. They play golf together in the summer.

"He was their best player," Maroon said. "That's why he's up for the Vezina, that's why he's an elite goalie in this league. He's only going to continue."

On this night, Maroon would best his friend.

During a face-off in the Stars end early in the second overtime, Blues center Tyler Bozak won the draw to wing Robert Thomas, whose shot hit the post, bounced off the back of Bishop's head and plopped down in the crease.

Maroon, who had driven the net, got to it first. Game over. Series over.

Video: Maroon's son emotional after his dad's double OT goal

As Enterprise Center exploded with noise and his teammates raced to mob him, Maroon looked up to see if he could locate his son Anthony, 10, in the stands.

"He was crying," Maroon said. "I saw him, and I pointed to him.

"I'm proud. I'm proud to be from St. Louis and I'm proud to put that jersey on every night and I'm proud to work hard in front of these fans and to work hard for these guys that deserve it in here, that have been here for so long and want nothing more [than] to win. 

"Right now, that's Round 2 and we've got to go onto Round 3. We've got to play the same way, that relentless hockey, that ground-and-pound hockey, just never give up and continue what we're doing. If we do that, we'll have success."

Video: Pat Maroon and his son, Anthony, celebrate Game 7

As Maroon was recollecting his special moment in the triumphant dressing room, Anthony came running over and gave his dad a hug. They both shed tears.

"I taught him a few things," Anthony said. "I'm so proud of him."

He wasn't alone. In the family room, Pat's mom Patti was weeping. 

"I didn't see the goal when it went in," she said. "People were saying: 'Your son scored, your son scored.'"

Patti pulled out a prayer card dedicated to St. Anthony.

"This is my good luck charm," she said. "I had it tucked in my shirt for much of the night. And it worked.

"I named Patrick after me. He always dreamed of this day as a kid. And now he's living it."

Maroon said it will always be a surreal chapter of his life.

"It means the world," Maroon said. "You're playing street hockey and playing with your brothers or in your basement and you dream of those moments. To score a goal like that, I'll never forget that moment. My fiancée, my son, my parents, my brother, my sister, my uncle, cousins, whatever, they'll never forget this moment, and neither will I."

Neither will his hometown.

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