Milan Kytnar and Noah Geopfert - OKC Barons Fan (Photo: Patricia Teter. All Rights Reserved.)

Noah is a quiet young man who has a true passion for hockey — everything about it. The stats, the players, its history and even the jerseys. If you see Noah around, talk to him! He is an encyclopedia of information and my hockey season has been made all the more fun, exciting and entertaining with Noah as a Barons fan. He writes a blog on the Barons, takes game photographs and even creates team videos with outstanding music selections! When you attend a Barons’ game, you will no doubt see Noah at every game, with his camera in hand, wearing a colorful jersey. He is very well known now for his hockey jersey collection and I expect to see Noah working in the field of hockey in the very near future.

Meet Noah Geopfert – OKC Barons Fan!

PT: How long have you been a hockey fan?

Noah:  Been a diehard hockey fan since ’07.

PT: Who is your favorite NHL team and why?

Noah:  Toronto Maple Leafs. Young, raw talent. Leafs have been around forever.

PT: Who is your favorite NHL player(s) and why?

Noah:  My favorite NHL players are Joffrey Lupul and Phil Kessel of the Leafs. They play on their top game on a nightly basis.

PT: Do you have any hockey souvenirs? What are they?

Noah: I have quite a few hockey souvenirs. From pucks players have thrown over the glass, to regular pucks, to game-worn jerseys and other jerseys.

PT: What is your favorite hockey souvenir(s)?

Noah: I think it would have to be all of my jerseys. I am a big collector. I have a total of 32 different jerseys. That includes 4 game worn ones. The game worn ones belong to Bryan Rodney, Jiri Tlusty, Tanner House, and Jake Taylor. I also have a Colorado Avalanche Patrick Roy jersey. Wasn’t worn by the great Roy, but it was signed by Patrick on the front logo. I also have 4 foreign jerseys that have Alexander Ovechkin, Dominik Hasek, Jaromir Jagr, and a Team Slovakian jersey signed by former Baron, native to Slovakia, Milan Kytnar. And I own other jerseys that come from AHL, NHL, CHL, Defunct Teams, and college jerseys. The collection keeps growing!

PT: If you are from OKC, were you a Blazers fan? And if so, how do you compare the Blazers with the AHL OKC Barons team?

Noah: Was a big Blazers fan. For me, the difference between the CHL Blazers and the AHL Barons is a big difference. The Blazers, you saw many fights, physicality. With the Barons you still see that presence of physicality but more finesse with the AHL franchise. And with the Barons, the pace of the game is much faster.

The OKC Barons Team (Players and Coaching staff):

PT: The OKC Barons are now two years old – did you have an opportunity to follow the team since the beginning?

Noah: I have had many chances to follow the team from the beginning, which I have.

PT: How many games do you attend and/or watch on average? All? Most?  Explain.

Noah: I have not missed a single home game this 2011-12 year. About the same for last year, only missed 3 due to being out of town and the other was feeling sick.

PT: What is your opinion of the team and coaching this season, so far? 

Noah: Oh, I think we have some of the finest coaching in the AHL. The coaching staff under Nelson, Fleming, and Thompson was built for big success. Same for the team. All fit perfectly.

PT: Who are your favorite players and why?

Noah: My favorite players would have to be Teemu Hartikainen, Yann Danis, and Bryan Helmer. All of these 3 have a good work ethic which is why they are my favorite. Teemu, always goes hard to the net, keeps the physical game alive, and has a wicked shot. Yann, one of the best goaltenders this year in the AHL. With GAA’s from him like 1.92, 2.00, 2.05 are always a good combination for the backbone of the team. Bryan Helmer, the perfect captain. Much experience, played with NHLers, and for 39 years of age, the guy still can hit, shoot, and has good puck control.

PT: Which player were you most excited to see play this season?

Noah: I was most excited to see Magnus Paajarvi. Now he obviously came later in the mid-season when Edmonton assigned him here, but that first game he played here I was on the edge of my seat. Seen the guy play in Edmonton last year, crazy speed. If you look at one end of the ice, he will probably already be on the other creating a scoring chance.

PT: Who is your favorite new player this season (2011-2012)?

Noah: I think my new favorite member of the team has to be Tyler Pitlick. He reminds me a lot of Liam Reddox last year. And Tyler wears #9 just like Liam did! Pitlick has great speed. He always tries to keep the play alive and create scoring chances for other players, if not take the shot himself. He has a really sharp wrister. He is the face of the future for the Edmonton Oilers.

PT: Who is your fan favorite this season and why?

Noah: Fan favorite. Has to be Kirill Tulupov. Aside from his big hitting, great enforcer skill, he is a really nice guy. He is sometimes very serious when you spark a conversation with him. I enjoy talking to him if I have the chance. On the ice, the opposing player better watch out because he knocks you down onto the ice with his hits. Unfortunately, the rules and playbook has sharpened up, so we don’t get to see the hits like he made in the QJMHL. But still, big hitter. And his fighting skill! He has had 3 fights this year. Check that, call it a Tulupov smackdown. And you are so shocked at what you just saw. I mean we have seen the pounding of the head that he did to Lance Bouma, the beating on Brian Sutherby, and the full-body flip on Nick Layton.

PT: What would you change about the team itself, if anything?

Noah: I would change nothing on the team.

PT: Who deserves a chance at breaking into the Oilers roster next season?

Noah: The newest member of the Oilers team next year should be Teemu Hartikainen. As I said above, it all fits under a 3rd/4th line category. If not, 2nd line NHL for the Oilers next year. His shooting skills, scoring skills, and everything else that makes up Teemu Hartikainen is definitely what the Oilers need.

PT: Describe your best team/player/coach experience this season:

Noah: I think one of my best player experiences happened when Bryan Rodney came over from Syracuse. So I see that Edmonton trades for him, and I want to buy his game worn jersey that he wore #33 with the Albany River Rats a few years ago. He was really happy and surprised when he saw me wearing it for the pre-game warm ups. I got him to sign it that night too. On the back he wrote, “To Noah, all the best!!” Really classy guy, Rodney is.

Noah in his Rodney River Rats jersey (Photo: Patricia Teter. All Rights Reserved.)

Off-ice Fan Experiences – this includes inside the arena, outside events and social media:

PT: What has been your best off-ice experience this season and why?

Noah: My best-off ice experience has been getting to chat with the players during post game autographs, the various parties, and the end of year banquet we recently had. It’s really a good time to talk with the players about their other activities and answer questions.

PT: What has been your worst off-ice experience this season and why?

Noah: I think my worst off ice experience was looking at the diversity of our Cox Convention Center and where the Texas Stars play at the Cedar Park Center in Cedar Park, Texas. I now see all the renovations, changes, and re-adjustments that we need to do for our arena. The Cox needs to be more lively, and fresher. Such as not as a dense concourse, better music options, and things such as that.

PT: What would you like to change about the off-ice experience for next season?

Noah: Next year, I want to see more color in the concourse. Not sure if it makes sense, but just make it more lively. I would also like music changes. That is my biggest complaint. Want a little more head banging for pre-game warm ups. Just a little more rockus and rowdy. It would pump up the fans, and the players too probably.

PT: As a fan, what is your opinion of the social media aspect (Twitter, Facebook, Website)? Pass or Fail and Why?

Noah: Social media wise, I think it’s a pass. They are updated all the time, and dependable. Such as Twitter and on Facebook.

Noah with Bryan Rodney (Photo: Patricia Teter. All Rights Reserved.)

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