Konerko, White Sox lend support to Blackhawks

CHICAGO -- Approximately 25 members of the White Sox coaching staff and active roster attended the Blackhawks' 2-1 overtime victory Wednesday night over the Red Wings in a deciding Game 7 of the Western Conference semifinals. Paul Konerko, a diehard hockey fan, also participated in a shootout with Cubs pitcher Jeff Samardzija.

Konerko, an accomplished hockey player in his youth who still skates from time to time, hit on two goals. Samardzija was shut out.

"Yeah. It was fun," said Konerko. "I didn't know really what to expect out there, but I had fun with it. It was over and done with pretty quick."

Manager Robin Ventura predicted a 3-1 Blackhawks victory before the game, so he came pretty close to the final score and had the winner. He predicted the Blackhawks will defeat the Los Angeles Kings in the Western Conference final, but he didn't give the amount of games.

"You sense everybody pulling for them," said Ventura of the Blackhawks. "But you're looking at the energy that was in the building, that's the fun part in it all, showing a little support. It's great, it's great for the city. They deserve it."

"People were there early. The place was packed at like 6:15 [for a 7 p.m. start]," Konerko said. "Everybody was in their seats by 6:30. You don't see that much. And it was a good game. It really could have gone either way. Everybody got their money's worth, that's for sure."

Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.