Ryan Vesce, Jamie McGinn and Devin Setoguchi sat down and ate Chipotle burritos with the contest winners
Seven avid Sharks fans were invited to HP Pavilion at San Jose to have lunch with Sharks players as part of the "Burritos with the Boys" promotion with Chipotle on March 20.
Steve Driskell, Ambur Bruning, Elizabeth Naumann, Lindsey DiMaggio and Pam, Zack and William Shukait were greeted at the HP Pavilion entrance and taken into the underbelly of the Shark Tank to reach their glass seats where they sat and waited for the team to take the annual team photo.
All seven Sharks fans were extremely excited to meet the players.
"I've been a fan all my life," said DiMaggio, who wore a Torrey Mitchell
jersey. "I've been going to Sharks games since I was a year old. My dad took me to the Cow Palace all the time."
Zack and William Shukait each brought a binder full of trading cards of Sharks players.
William, who said he was a huge Evgeni Nabokov fan, excitedly showed off to the other contest winners his rare Nabokov jersey trading card.
Following the team photo, the seven contest winners got to take a team photo with the Sharks.
Some of the Sharks players escorted the fans out across the slippery ice into position for the photo.
"I was escorted across the ice by a Shark and that was really cool," Bruning said. "I passed by (Evgeni) Nabokov and told him he was the man!"
The seven fans got back to their seats following the photo and waited patiently as the team and staff organized themselves for the annual staff photo.
Afterward, the winners were taken for a tour of the Sharks locker room.
"It was so cool in there," Naumann said.
That’s where they met Executive Vice President and General Manager Doug Wilson. He asked each fan who their favorite players were and chatted with Zack about Brad Staubitz's fight with Nashville bad boy Jordan Tootoo the previous night.
In the locker room, the lucky seven also met Radio Color Analyst Jamie Baker and Television Color Analyst Drew Remenda.
"As soon as I saw Drew in the locker room I was like 'Hey Drew!'" said the smiling Driskell, who also took a photo with Remenda. "It was awesome to meet him."
The fans also got a chance to watch Baker filming a Comcast SportsNet Bay Area pregame segment, "What's in Store,” with Equipment Manager Mike Aldrich about skates and how often each player goes through a new blade.
After watching Baker film his segment, the contest winners were taken back to their seats to watch the Sharks practice. During the session, William got a practice puck.
At the conclusion of practice, the fans were invited into a lounge in the offices to eat their complementary Chipotle burritos.
"We eat Chipotle every day," Zack said. "We'll probably eat some more for dinner after this."
Following their practice, Sharks players and coaches slowly filed into the room to join the winners for lunch.
Each player was greeted with a bombardment of requests for photos and autographs.
"Watching practice was one of my favorite parts," William said with a big smile. "But getting autographs was really cool, too. I got Milan's (Michalek) autograph."
With a table full of Sharks players eating their burritos and chips, the contest winners mingled and asked the players questions.
Zack, a defenseman, got tips from Alexei Semenov, Staubitz and Douglas Murray
on positioning and stick handling.
William and Zack's mother, Pam, a big hockey fan, got to meet her favorite player, Jonathan Cheechoo and got his autograph on her pink sweater with the words "Hockey Mom" in rhinestone.
Though she wasn't able to meet her favorite player, Mitchell, DiMaggio said the experience was amazing.
"Meeting the players and watching practice without a bunch of other crazy people around was my favorite part of today," DiMaggio said. "I met Marc-Edouard Vlasic
and he was so cute!"
And what better way to spend the afternoon than eating some burritos with the Boys in Teal.