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Fans Excited For First Pre-Season Games, Season

Sunday, 09.15.2013 / 1:30 PM / News
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Fans Excited For First Pre-Season Games, Season

By: Natalie Baj, University of Miami

CORAL SPRINGS, Fla. - With the anticipation of Monday’s double-header against the Nashville Predators brewing, diehard fans made their way to the Saveology.com Iceplex Sunday morning to take in the last practice. Some already have their eyes on a few players.

Sporting customized Panthers jerseys, complete with their last name, the Vezina family spent their morning watching the Panthers run drills and practice plays. Armand Vezina, his wife, and four children have been season ticket holders for three years. Vezina has his eye on 20-year-old defenseman, Jonathan Racine.

“I’ve been watching him [Racine] for the past two to three years,” said Armand Vezina. “He’s getting bigger, stronger and I personally feel his skills are just increasing.”

His son, Armand Jr., 14, admires forward Scott Gomez’s awareness on the ice and thinks it’s “pretty sweet” the way he moves the puck.

Impressed with the team’s overall progress so far, eight year old, Aidan Farro hopes Jose Theodore makes an appearance as goalie.

Although fans have different opinions on the players, the one thing they all have in common is their love for the Cats.

Proudly wearing her autographed jersey, Laynee Johnson cheers while seated in a wheelchair. “Let’s go Pan-thers! Let’s go Pan-thers! Let’s go Pan-thers!” shouts Johnson, accompanied by her mother, Angi. Last week she broke her leg while figure skating, but that hasn’t stopped her from cheering on the Panthers at practice and will not stop here from making it to the game on Monday.

“I am excited to go to the game tomorrow, after I get my cast done,” said Johnson.

Carol Koch first became a fan when the Panthers faced the Colorado Avalanche in the 1996 Stanley Cup final. Now, she is a season ticket holder and considers herself a diehard fan, and proudly displays her love for the Cats by pointing to her leg and the Panthers logo tattoo.  Koch says a diehard fan is, “someone who goes to every game, records every game and watches all the road games.”

Not a diehard Panthers fan? Koch has a message for you. “Go to a game, it’s contagious!”

Don’t miss the pre-season opener against the Nashville Predators tomorrow at the BB&T Center. The first game is at 2:30 p.m. followed by the second game at 7 p.m. For more information, visit panthers.nhl.com.

UPCOMING EVENTS

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
N. Bjugstad 76 16 22 -14 38
S. Upshall 76 15 22 1 37
B. Campbell 82 7 30 -6 37
B. Boyes 78 21 15 -6 36
S. Bergenheim 62 16 13 -16 29
J. Huberdeau 69 9 19 -5 28
T. Fleischmann 80 8 20 -18 28
T. Gilbert 73 3 25 -5 28
B. Pirri 49 13 12 6 25
A. Barkov 54 8 16 -3 24
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 25 23 7 .919 2.40
S. Clemmensen 6 7 1 .896 3.09
 
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