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Centennial Fan Arena

NHL Centennial Fan Arena makes stop in San Jose

Photos with Stanley Cup give fans a thrill

by Eric Gilmore / Correspondent

SAN JOSE -- Duane Wilson, a longtime San Jose Sharks fan from nearby Livermore, won a pair of tickets from a radio station to San Jose's game against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday.

Then Wilson found out the NHL Centennial Fan Arena would be at SAP Arena.

"I called my buddy and said, 'Lord Stanley was going to be here and the Zamboni race and everything,' " Wilson said. " 'Heck, we got to go. We got to get there early.' "

Wilson and his friend, Chad Alexander of Livermore, had their picture taken with the Stanley Cup. They also put on virtual reality headsets and resurfaced ice on a Zamboni. Then they toured the 53-foot museum truck packed with NHL memorabilia and digital exhibits.

"The Zamboni's the coolest thing ever," Alexander said. "It's a virtual ride, and it's like a real Zamboni."

Both said seeing the Stanley Cup in person was the highlight.

"Stanley's always cool," Wilson said. "This is my third time seeing it in my life. But that Zamboni race was really fun. And all the old gloves and masks and everything in the museum. It was cool. Good stuff."

Daniel Flores of Hayward had a picture of himself and his two young kids, Jaiden and Deia, taken with the Stanley Cup. He also held a picture of his father, Richard, a Sharks fan since the debut season in 1991-92, next to the Cup.

"My dad's very upset he couldn't be here, but he's very sick," Flores said. "He's fighting cancer and has pneumonia and all that. So we took a picture of him and held the picture up. ... We wanted to make sure he was included even though he couldn't make the trip down."

Brad Murdock, 19, from San Jose, made sure he didn't miss getting his picture taken with the Cup. He showed up 90 minutes early and was first in line.

"It was really good just to get a picture of the trophy, get a picture of history," said Murdock, wearing a No. 8 Joe Pavelski jersey.

Moments after walking away, Murdock shared some NHL history with his friends.

"I posted it on Snapchat," he said.

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