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Stanley Cup continues long trip through Ontario

by Tal Pinchevsky

After enjoying several days moving through Western Canada, the Stanley Cup's nine-day trip through Ontario began Saturday with Los Angeles Kings forward Mike Richards in Kenora, a town situated much closer to Winnipeg than Toronto.

After a day of travel Sunday, the scene shifted to Garden River on Monday, where Kings rookie Jordan Nolan enjoyed his big day.

Kevin Westgarth and family spend the day with the Stanley Cup in Amherstburg, Ontario. (Photo: Hockey Hall of Fame)

Nolan was joined by his father, former NHL coach Ted Nolan, as well as his mother and brother in a day-long celebration in Garden River, located in the heart of the Great Lakes Region. Hosted by the Garden River First Nation community, Jordan and his family traveled through the city by motorcade and were accompanied by the local Bear Creek drum circle. The rainy day ended with a private party that night before the Cup traveled south to meet Kevin Westgarth in Amherstberg, situated on Lake Erie along the Ontario-Michigan border.

Westgarth, accompanied by friends and family, spent two hours with locals at the United Communities Credit Union Complex. By the time the event ended, some people still hadn't had their moment with the Stanley Cup. So Westgarth, making sure no one walked away from the rink disappointed, carried the Cup through the line, giving those who came late one last opportunity for a photo.

The Kings wing had a number of events planned, including a barbecue at home, a party at the Pointe West Golf Club, and a final blowout at a hotel in nearby Windsor. Even though Westgarth's father-in-law, former Pittsburgh Steelers coach Bill Cowher, was unable to make it to the party, there was another prominent athlete at the event, one who made 6-foot-4, 230-pound Westgarth appear small by comparison.

A number of guests were present throughout the day, but the easiest to notice was Duke Blue Devils basketball player Ryan Kelly, the boyfriend of Westgarth's sister-in-law. The 6-foot-11 forward, who won an NCAA championship in 2010 and is entering his senior season at Duke University, got to join in the festivities on a day any sports fan would have to appreciate.

Following Westgarth's day in Amherstberg, the Cup will join Kings forward Kyle Clifford in Ayr, Ontario before spending two days in London -- one each with Drew Doughty and Jeff Carter.

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