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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 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
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