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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.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 TBL 48 30 14 4 156 127 64
2 NYI 46 31 14 1 151 129 63
3 DET 47 27 11 9 139 119 63
4 MTL 45 29 13 3 123 106 61
5 PIT 46 26 12 8 138 117 60
6 NYR 44 27 13 4 134 106 58
7 WSH 46 24 13 9 137 120 57
8 BOS 48 25 16 7 126 121 57
9 FLA 44 20 14 10 107 122 50
10 OTT 46 19 18 9 126 128 47
11 TOR 48 22 23 3 142 150 47
12 PHI 48 19 22 7 130 146 45
13 CBJ 45 20 22 3 113 142 43
14 NJD 47 17 22 8 107 134 42
15 CAR 46 16 25 5 98 120 37
16 BUF 47 14 30 3 89 167 31

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
N. Bjugstad 44 15 12 1 27
J. Huberdeau 41 8 17 1 25
A. Ekblad 44 6 19 7 25
J. Jokinen 43 4 20 0 24
J. Hayes 36 13 7 1 20
B. Boyes 42 9 11 1 20
S. Bergenheim 33 7 9 4 16
T. Fleischmann 38 5 8 9 13
V. Trocheck 28 4 9 6 13
D. Kulikov 39 1 12 -2 13
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 17 10 8 .923 2.32
A. Montoya 3 4 2 .887 3.09
 
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