Image Map

Daniel's Road to the 2012 NHL Winter Classic

Monday, 01.09.2012 / 1:59 PM
By Sarah Peters - Digital Content Developer / The Daily Chomp
X
Share with your Friends


The Daily Chomp
Daniel\'s Road to the 2012 NHL Winter Classic


In December, two fans were given the opportunity to attend the 2012 NHL Winter Classic in Philadelphia from a contest on the Sharks Facebook Page. Here is Sharks fan Daniel Corona's experience.

BEFORE THE TRIP

Daniel, Darcy, and Rich at the Winter Classic.
My 'Road to the Winter Classic' isn’t one for HBO but it was my road nonetheless. It all started with a phone call. There I was minding my own business after a day’s work, I believe the Penguins-Blackhawks game was on when out of nowhere my phone starts ringing. I normally don’t answer calls from unknown numbers, but this call this time I picked up not knowing who was on the other line. “I’m calling to tell you that you won a trip for two to THE WINTER CLASSIC!"

At this point I was in a little bit of a shock and disbelief, as I don’t win cool things like this. I enter contests a lot and I never win. She gave me the details we finished our conversation and ended the call. The second I hung up I started thinking, okay which one of my friends is clever enough to pull this kind of elaborate prank on me?

It was no prank, thus I hopped on one of the first flights out of SFO bound for Philadelphia. I flew solo but I had a friend from Philly that let his friends and family know that he had a Cali boy coming out for the game. Judging from the response his Facebook post received, I could tell I was in for a good time.

THE ROAD TO PHILLY

With Brendan Shanahan (middle) and Kevin Weekes (right)
I arrived in Philly around 9 PM with layovers, which was no fun but as soon as I stepped off the plane I felt the Winter Classic in the air. You can tell Philly was honored to host the Classic there this year and it had somewhat of a All-Star game vibe to it. There were banners and commercials playing on all of the TV monitors.

The Marriot Downtown Philly was all about the Winter Classic with banners everywhere; even my room was Winter Classic themed.

I ran into a lot of hockey history there, Barry Melrose was sitting at a bar and little did I know he was waiting for Brendan Shanahan and Kevin Weekes.

I didn’t get to sleep much as my mental clock was still stuck on West Coast time.

THE WINTER CLASSIC

The next morning came fast and the Winter Classic day was here. I decided to wear my Sharks gear to the game, I had to rep my team and the ones who sent me there. I did happen to bring a Philly jersey and wanted to support the home team, only catch was that it was a Flyers 'Nitty' jersey (current Sharks goaltender Antero Niittymaki). Still supporting my Sharks even thought it was a different team’s jersey (and not Ilya Bryzgalov’s).

As I rode the Orange Line to Citizens bank Park, I could feel the eyes of the Philly fans stabbing me all around, but they were not playing the Sharks so they held their tongues.

I expected to hear something from someone considering it wasn’t a team that was playing. A few Flyers fans appreciated the Sharks and said, “We got a great team over here.” A Rangers fan tried giving me lip on my way to meet up with my friends, yelling out: “Sharks, haha yeah what time do they play?” To which I replied, "5 PM!", because we played the Canucks later that day (which we won in the shootout BTW).
Daniel with another Sharks fan at the game

I met up with my friends out in the parking lot where I was welcomed with open arms and food and drinks. The parking lot was awesome. Fans all around: Rangers, Flyers, everyone just having fun.

In retrospect I should have entered the park a lot sooner to get the full tour of the stadium. I went in around 2:30 PM and found my seats. I ran into a few other Sharks fans and waited for the game. The stadium looked awesome from where I sat. I had a great view of the ice and the screen (they say) is the biggest in sports. Both national anthems were sung beautifully and an awesome display of respect as those both went on. The Roots were the house band for the night.

The boos rang out as the Rangers came out and a loud roar bellowed as the Flyers took the ice. I could only imagine how loud 40k Shark fans would sound if we got to have an outside game like this in the Bay Area. We are loud with 18k in The Tank and I could only dream for now about that ever happening.

The experience was great, the outcome of the game wasn’t what I had hoped but they both played a great game. Any city should be proud to have the opportunity to host The Winter Classic and I hope to attend again next year. The fans, the stadium, the game, met every expectation I had. I watched last year’s Winter Classic on TV and said that I wanted to go to one someday. And thanks to our San Jose Sharks, I was able to go this year!

Click here to see more photos from Daniel's trip.


SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - ANA 82 54 20 8 266 209 116
2 y - COL 82 52 22 8 250 220 112
3 x - STL 82 52 23 7 248 191 111
4 x - SJS 82 51 22 9 249 200 111
5 x - CHI 82 46 21 15 267 220 107
6 x - LAK 82 46 28 8 206 174 100
7 x - MIN 82 43 27 12 207 206 98
8 x - DAL 82 40 31 11 235 228 91
9 PHX 82 37 30 15 216 231 89
10 NSH 82 38 32 12 216 242 88
11 WPG 82 37 35 10 227 237 84
12 VAN 82 36 35 11 196 223 83
13 CGY 82 35 40 7 209 241 77
14 EDM 82 29 44 9 203 270 67

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Pavelski 82 41 38 23 79
J. Thornton 82 11 65 20 76
P. Marleau 82 33 37 0 70
L. Couture 65 23 31 21 54
B. Burns 69 22 26 26 48
T. Wingels 77 16 22 11 38
D. Boyle 75 12 24 -8 36
J. Demers 75 5 29 14 34
T. Hertl 37 15 10 11 25
M. Nieto 66 10 14 -4 24
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
A. Stalock 12 5 2 .932 1.87
A. Niemi 39 17 7 .913 2.39
Image Map