Dipenta brings cup home

Paul McLeod
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"I'm never washing this hand again," was a phrase heard many times Thursday throughout Halifax Regional Municipality.

Editor's Note - Joey Dipenta lived inAmherst andstarted his minor hockey career inthe Cumberland County Minor Hockey Association before moving with his family to Cole Harbour

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HALIFAX -"I'm never washing this hand again," was a phrase heard many times Thursday throughout Halifax Regional Municipality.

NHL defenceman Joe DiPenta, after winning the Stanley Cup with the Anaheim Ducks last season, had the Stanley Cup for 24 hours. He made the most of it. Hundreds of children and parents got to meet DiPenta, have their picture taken with him and the Cup, and even lay their hands on the holy grail of hockey.

"That was really amazing. I never thought I'd get to touch something so great," said 10-year-old Luke MacLean, who took time away from hockey camp to see the Cup at the IWK Health Centre.

DiPenta met a packed auditorium at the IWK, signing autographs and posing for photos with sick children and members of the general public who dropped in.

DiPenta was born in Ontario but spent several years in Amherst before moving to Cole Harbour at age 7. He played his first hockey at the Amherst Stadium.

After, the Cup headed to Dartmouth Crossing and then DiPenta's hometown of Cole Harbour.

"It's pretty special. I see these little kids come up, and I remember what I was like when I was eight or 10 years old. You see this big trophy, and it's idolized," said DiPenta. "It's cool to be able to show these kids that I was like them one time, and now I've got the Stanley Cup back here in Cole Harbour."

Hundreds of people lined Cole Harbour streets to watch a parade roll by featuring DiPenta and the Cup. Crowds of people ran alongside DiPenta's car and took pictures, as he headed to towards Cole Harbour Place, where a framed collection of photos and his hockey jersey were unveiled.

"I got to talk to Joe, I got my jersey autographed, it was just unbelievable," said Steve Carroll, 11, who showed up with his family an hour early at Dartmouth Crossing. Though from Cole Harbour, they came in from camping in the Annapolis Valley for the event.

DiPenta's 24 hours with the Cup ended with a private - though hardly exclusive - party involving about 200 friends, family members, former coaches, and people who have helped him throughout his career. He also had a special plan to take advantage of his time with the Cup.

"I'm going to put the beer right in there and let everybody drink out of it," he laughed.

pmcleod@hfxnews.ca

Organizations: IWK Health Centre, Cumberland County Minor Hockey Association, NHL Dartmouth Crossing

Geographic location: Cole Harbour Place, Amherst Stadium, Ontario Annapolis Valley

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