Nightly News   |  June 22, 2013

Anthem singers hit NHL stage, thrill crowds

NBC's Kevin Tibbles profiles two men who belt out the lyrics to the Star-Spangled Banner, much to the delight of crowds in Chicago and Boston.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> it is a rite of passage for any entertainer performing the national anthem at a sporting event . but for two amateur singers at the stanley cup finals it helps to have a little ice in your veins. nbc's kevin tibbles has their story.

>> reporter: when jim cornellson goes to work in chicago he has 22,000 people waiting for him. 'o say can you see

>> reporter: and boy do they appreciate what he does for a living. cornellson belts out the star spangled banner before blackhawks games in the madhouse on madison. for years in chicago the anthem has become a deafening show of pride and spirit. but now with the blackhawks playing the boston bruins in the stanley cup finals , there is a little friend friendy -- friendly competition. because this fellow warming up is bruins' anthem singer, rene rancor.

>> it's getting there. 'o say can you see

>> reporter: he has been doing it nearly 40 years, always ending with his signature fist pump.

>> i imagine i am in an opera house . and it is a great thrill each time.

>> translato

>> reporter: he was present in the aftermath of the boston bombings as he led the fans as they stood and sang.

>> reporter: when the fans started in so strongly, with such feeling, i just was, i was moved to tears.

>> reporter: both men say they're honoring u.s. servicemen and women when they sing. cornellson shares his little corner of the ice with two of them.

>> the focus is what the anthem is about. we are cheering as americans.

>> reporter: on the of each singer, notice sizable stanley cup rings. the hawks and bruins have won during the tenors' tenures. soon one of them will have two. and the home of the brave kevin tibbles, nbc news, chicago .