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Valley News Dispatch

Penguins fans stock up on Stanley Cup gear

| Monday, June 12, 2017, 3:21 p.m.
Kathy and Jim Murray, both 56, of Saxonburg show off some of the merchandise they bought at Dick's Sporting Goods at the Pittsburgh Mills mall on Monday, June 12, 2017.
Louis B. Ruediger | Tribune-Review
Kathy and Jim Murray, both 56, of Saxonburg show off some of the merchandise they bought at Dick's Sporting Goods at the Pittsburgh Mills mall on Monday, June 12, 2017.
Kim Polly, owner of RPG Sports in the Pittsburgh Mills, arranges Penguins merchandise on Monday June 12, 2017.
Louis B. Ruediger | Tribune-Review
Kim Polly, owner of RPG Sports in the Pittsburgh Mills, arranges Penguins merchandise on Monday June 12, 2017.
Richard Vozza, of Tarentum looks at Penguins merchandise while shopping at the Pittsburgh Mills mall, Monday June 21, 2017. Vozza was shopping with his friend, Jack Leon, of Squirrel Hill.
Louis B. Ruediger | Tribune-Review
Richard Vozza, of Tarentum looks at Penguins merchandise while shopping at the Pittsburgh Mills mall, Monday June 21, 2017. Vozza was shopping with his friend, Jack Leon, of Squirrel Hill.

New Kensington resident Hilary Sanford didn't waste any time getting her Penguins' Stanley Cup champion merchandise Monday.

Sanford, 31, visited the Galleria at Pittsburgh Mills around noon to pick up a present for a family member and a couple items for herself, including a pennant and magnet that she will add to her already-extensive collection.

“I got this because I have one for every year,” she said of the pennant. “My dad gave me his (from the '90s).”

Sanford was just one of dozens of Alle-Kiski Valley residents in and out of the mall Monday — all walking away with Stanley Cup champion T-shirts, hats, pennants and other items to celebrate the team's win Sunday night.

With a receipt for nearly $300, Kathy and Jim Murray had a bag full of gear for their family.

“Two seconds after the game last night one of my daughters said ‘You have to go to Dick's (Sporting Goods),' ” Kathy said.

The couple walked away with six shirts and three hats.

It'll probably be $140 next week, Jim said, noting the high price for the day after the win.

“It is what it is,” he said.

They both said it was worth it to have the memorabilia.

New Kensington resident Ben Aftanas, 13, picked up a few T-shirts before he had to head to his baseball game.

“I'm very excited,” Aftanas said of getting to wear the shirt.

He stayed up late watching the game with his family.

“It was very nerve-racking,” he said.

Sharon Kowalski, 50, said she and her husband had been celebrating all morning. They took a break to come to the mall.

“Back-to-back — it's impressive,” she said.

She picked up a couple of T-shirts to prepare for the victory parade on Wednesday.

O'Hara resident Patty Posa, 52, and her daughter Amanda Posa, 20, said they always buy championship gear for all of the Pittsburgh sports teams.

“You have to,” she said.

Patty Posa aid she enjoys how much the sports bring the city together.

“It never gets old,” she said of winning championships.

Kim Polly, who is one of the owners at RPG Sports in the mall, said she's been preparing for two weeks.

She said small, locally owned retailers like hers had to wait until Monday afternoon to get their Stanley Cup merchandise while bigger retailers were able to get the items first. She said one advantage of being a small business is she can lower her prices to be competitive.

She will be selling 15 different shirts as well as cups and shot glasses.

“It's just been very stressful,” Polly said. “It's probably going to be busy the next few days.”

Emily Balser is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 724-226-4680, emilybalser@tribweb.com or via Twitter @emilybalser.

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