The Pittsburgh Penguins received a warm welcome home Monday after defeating the Nashville Predators in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup finals.
A few dozen fans gathered on the tarmac at Atlantic Aviation hangar at Pittsburgh International Airport to greet the team. Several children in jerseys excitedly waited for autographs from their favorite players and coach Mike Sullivan emerged from the plane hoisting the Stanley Cup.
Team captain Sidney Crosby was still riding the energy from Sunday night's win.
"This is what you play for," he said. "Knowing how difficult it is to repeat, it's pretty cool we found a way to do it."
Penguins center Nick Bonino agreed there was no shortage of excitement on the plane ride home.
"It's just exciting," he said. "We played cards in the cup. It's stuff like that doesn't happen too often, so it was great."
The city also announced it will host a victory parade for the Stanley Cup champions on Wednesday at 11 a.m.
The parade will follow a similar route to the previous year’s, which snaked through downtown. This year’s parade will start at the intersection of Grant Street and Liberty Avenue and end at Point State Park. Road closures downtown will start at 9 a.m.
Last year, the Penguins also clinched the Cup on a Sunday, and the parade was held the following Wednesday. About 400,000 fans lined streets downtown for that parade, the biggest celebration for any of the team's five Stanley Cup championships.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.