Colleen Phillip has been coming to Penguins games her entire life. The Horseheads, New York native still comes down with her family 6-8 times a year.
On this particular trip, Phillip was randomly selected to win a jersey off the back of a Pittsburgh player following their 6-2 win over Philadelphia on Sunday at CONSOL Energy Center.
What was really shocking was that a month before, she was bowling alongside Sidney Crosby at the team’s Pens & Pins event.
“He remembered me and my boys,” Phillip said after seeing the Pens captain again. “We both looked at each other and could tell.”
Penguins players gave the “Shirts Off Our Backs” to 23 lucky fans following the game against the Flyers. The annual post-game jersey presentation is part of the team’s Fan Appreciation Night at the final home game of the regular season.
As fans entered the gates to the arena, they were handed scratch cards with chances at winning autographed pucks, jerseys, DICK’s Sporting Goods gift cards, spins on the Penguins Prize Wheel or tickets for the 2016-17 home opener.
Jessica Stinelli, 19, didn’t travel far as a student from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. But unlike anyone else who was picked this year, she’d already won a jersey off Jordan Leopold’s back when she was randomly selected the first time back in 2010 at the Penguins' last game in Mellon Arena.
This time around, she was adorned with Jeff Zatkoff’s sweater.
“It’s pretty unbelievable,” Stinelli said without hesitation. “Out of 18,000 fans, why me?”
In her second game ever at CONSOL Energy Center, Patsy Brown was overwhelmed when she realized what she had won – Carl Hagelin’s jersey.
Originally, she thought it was a voucher for a free t-shirt. She didn’t realize what she was actually getting until her daughter filled her in.
“It’s wonderful,” Brown said. “It’s great they do this for the fans. What a wonderful end to a weekend. My girls are so jealous.”
Adam Cressley was also at his second-ever Penguins game. The Punxsutawney native’s first came back in 2006 when he was a student at the Pennsylvania Institute of Technology.
Cressley was lucky enough to take take home the other golden ticket – Kris Letang’s jersey. He also had a bit of advice for the All-Star defenseman.
“I told him he did a great job and it’s been an awesome season,” Cressley said. “And he’s got the playoff beard started, but needs to come out a little more. But he’s on a good roll.”