Patric Hornqvist brought the Stanley Cup to the rink where his hockey career began.
The Pittsburgh Penguins forward had his day with the trophy Monday at Vilunda Ice Arena in Vasby, Sweden, where a crowd of about 1,000 met and celebrated with him.
"I played here when I was 12 years old," Hornqvist said. "Without Vasby, I wouldn't have been here now with the Cup. After I came here, my career has only [gone] upwards."
Vasby, a suburb about 20 miles north of Stockholm, then surprised Hornqvist by raising his No. 18 jersey to the arena's rafters in front of the crowd that included his wife, Malin, and 3-year-old daughter, Isabella. Hornqvist played hockey for Vasby IK, the town's club team, for three seasons from 2002-05.
"A real surprise," Hornqvist said of having his number retired. "I did not know about it, but for sure I'll never forget it."
Hornqvist, who won his second championship as a member of the Penguins, scored the game-winning goal in their 2-0, Cup-clinching win in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Nashville Predators. After celebrating the championship, the native of Sollentuna, Sweden, said he is turning his attention to the task of winning the Cup for a third straight season.
"We will try to do it," Hornqvist said. "It's a hard and a long journey, but after all that's what I do: I play to win."
NHL.com/sv senior writer Janne Bengtsson contributed to this report.