Fan Favorite Grand Prize Winner - 4/15/12

Sunday, 04.15.2012 / 12:15 PM
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The Daily Chomp
Fan Favorite Grand Prize Winner - 4\/15\/12
The results for the "Fan Favorite Award" were announced at  Fan Appreciation Night on April 7, 2012. Over 7,000 votes were cast and Patrick Marleau was named the "Fan Favorite" for the second year in a row. The Grand Prize winner received two (2) tickets to the Sharks “Fan Appreciation Night,” two Zamboni rides, the opportunity to meet their favorite Sharks player and receive that player’s jersey on the ice following the game. The winner also received a pre-game tour of HP Pavilion prior to the game. The grand prize winner, David Okimoto, gives us his account of this unforgettable night: 

This past Saturday was one of the most memorable evenings of my life, as it's not every day that a professional athlete shakes your hand and hands you the jersey literally off his back. While it's not quite mega-millions lucky, I overcame some pretty daunting odds to be the grand prize winner of the Sharks Fan Favorite contest. I can best describe getting the phone call notifying me of my victory as stunning. I was at work, didn't recognize the number and almost didn't answer the call! Once I found out everything I had won, time moved at a crawl until Fan Appreciation Night finally arrived.

The tour of HP Pavilion far surpassed anything I anticipated. The building is truly huge, and most people don't get to see a fraction of how big it actually is. The offices, locker rooms, press areas, and storage areas create a maze of passages that I was fortunate enough to explore. Seeing all the framed photos of every Sharks team in history was a big thrill, as was watching Doug Wilson walk right past me in the lobby. After touring the rafters above the ice, I felt a bit bad for Randy, Drew, Dan, and Jaime as their recent move to the rafters is way, way up there...no where near as close as their previous perch from the front of the upper bowl. I guess my season tickets in the last row of the upper bowl are closer that I thought!

Riding the Zamboni at intermission is a thrill and experience like none other. It's a surreal feeling emerging onto the ice from the tunnel and being surrounded by a stadium of fans. I can only imagine what it's like for the players, playing on center stage below the cauldron of raucous fans. I have a greater appreciation of the home ice advantage that we can create as fans, because simply looking up at a mostly quiet group of fans milling around still gave me a slight sense of being a gladiator.

Of all the thrills and perks of the night, getting to go on the ice post-game, after an overtime victory over a bitter rival, and receiving the jersey of the player that most would agree has been the face of the franchise for the better part of two decades...words really can't describe. Patrick Marleau was incredibly kind and sincere, even chatting with me for a brief minute before we posed for a picture. I was sure to let him know that I hoped he ends his career here in SJ. I think he truly is a fan favorite in every sense, from his play on the ice to the way he carries himself off of it. He is a perfect reflection of the organization as well, as everyone I encountered all day, from blue coats to secretaries to our tour guide, was incredibly generous and kind.

A huge thank you goes to everyone involved in making Saturday an experience this lifelong fan will treasure forever.

Go Sharks!

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STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 x - ANA 78 49 22 7 227 216 105
2 x - NSH 77 47 22 8 220 188 102
3 STL 75 46 22 7 228 186 99
4 CHI 75 45 24 6 213 175 96
5 MIN 76 44 25 7 219 186 95
6 VAN 75 43 27 5 215 203 91
7 WPG 76 39 25 12 215 201 90
8 CGY 76 41 28 7 224 201 89
9 LAK 75 37 24 14 200 188 88
10 DAL 76 37 29 10 236 243 84
11 SJS 76 37 30 9 212 215 83
12 COL 75 35 28 12 205 209 82
13 EDM 75 22 40 13 181 254 57
14 ARI 76 23 45 8 160 252 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Pavelski 76 36 31 9 67
L. Couture 76 25 37 -4 62
J. Thornton 72 14 48 -5 62
B. Burns 76 16 40 -6 56
P. Marleau 76 17 36 -17 53
T. Wingels 69 15 20 -5 35
T. Hertl 76 12 17 -2 29
M. Nieto 66 8 16 -11 24
M. Vlasic 70 9 14 12 23
J. Braun 65 1 22 6 23
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
A. Stalock 7 7 2 .905 2.55
A. Niemi 29 22 7 .914 2.62
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