American Arab player Brandon Saad made a critical goal for the Chicago Blackhawks in the 4th game of the Stanley Cup Play-offs against the Tampa Bay Lightning. The goal helped the Blackhawks gain momentum to tie up the series and then go on to win two more games taking the championship Monday night
By Ray Hanania
American Arab hockey player Brandon Saad played a critical role in helping the Chicago Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup playoffs for the third time in six years earning the team the title of a “dynasty” in professional ice hockey.
Saad’s role in contributing to the Blackhawks 2015 Stanley Cup win on Monday June 15 brought a round of celebration and community pride among American Arabs.
Saad, who joined the Blackhawks as a 23rd pick draft in 2011, has quickly risen to be one of the best scorers in the hockey competition.
It was a goal by Saad on Wednesday during the 4th game of the seven game Stanley Cup playoffs that that allowed the Chicago Blackhawks to finally break through Tampa Bay’s tough rookie goalie, giving Chicago the edge to hold on and tie up the series.
Saad scored the tie-breaking goal in the 4th game with 13 minutes and 38 seconds left to play in the game. Captain Jonathan Toews scored the second goal in the second period allowing the Blackhawks to defeat the Lightning by a 4th game final score of 2 to 1.
Born of Syrian descent — his father, George Saad, is from Syria — Saad was raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and attended Pine-Richland High School. Saad has many relatives who still live in Syria which has been torn apart by civil war, despotism and terrorism led by Daesh (ISIS).
Saad played one full season with the North American Hockey League’s Mahoning Valley Phantoms in 2008-09 alongside his older brother, George Saad. Brandon was named the NAHL’s “Rookie of the Year” after he finished the season with 47 points in 47 total games played that season. Brandon Saad was also selected to the All-NAHL team, the All-North division team, and the All-Rookie team.
In the 2011 Ontario Hockey League playoffs, Saad finished third on the team with 12 points scored in 12 games.
In the 2014-2015 play-off season, Brandon Saad played 23 games and scored 8 goals, ranking him 9th out of 10 players among the Blackhawks and the Tampa Bay Lightning. He ranked 6th in Shot Attempts (SAT) with 388.
The 6 foot 1 southpaw is only 22 years old.
This is his second Stanley Cup Championship (2013 and 2015).
His hometown team the Pittsburgh Penguins reportedly are hoping to re-sign him to the next season but the Blackhawks said they plan to sign him again.
Saad said he was very proud of his father, who immigrated from Syria where he was born, and his family, but said he was excited to be a part of the Blackhawks team.
Mabruk Brandon Saad.