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Walleye welcome fan number one million

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TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) -

Sunday night was special at the Huntington Center in downtown Toledo.

The Toledo Walleye welcomed its one millionth fan.

Who would it be?

The minor league hockey team first took the ice here in 2009.

Over the years, fans in the stands might not necessarily remember who scored the winning goal or the final game score.

Team officials say they're attracted by something else.

"It's the fan experience that we like to have happen when they come here so that anyone who comes in leaves knowing they've had a wonderful time and will come back," said Andi Roman of the Walleye.

The Walleye have played 4 games this season to sell-out crowds.

There have been 43 total since the team's inaugural season.

"I'm a season ticket holder and it's a good time. Something to do during the winter," said fan Eric Noggle.

Eric Berger agreed.

"I just like sports. I really like hockey. I like to come and see the hits," said Mr. Berger.

Now back to our original question: Who would be the one millionth Walleye fan at the Huntington Center?

Fans passed through the turn-styles one by one.

Then came Gary Stiff and his son Anthony.

One million, one million and one.

The guys received a bucket of Walleye swag and were given team jerseys.

Before the game, Gary and Anthony dropped the ceremonial puck.

"It's fun. It's a different kind of entertainment. I didn't get to do it much when I was a kid. I like to bring him," said Gary, referring to Anthony, who was excited to be at the game.

"I like it when Toledo wins but I don't like to see a lot of fights," said Anthony.

But he'll keep coming back as the Walleye continue to promote that fan experience and their rock'em/sock'em brand of hockey.

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