More than 30 hockey players, ages 24 to 59, experienced a day in the life of a San Jose Sharks player at the Sharks Foundation's Shark for a Day Fantasy Camp presented by Hockey Giant on February 3-4. This year's fundraiser netted a new record high of more than $66,000 for the Sharks Foundation.
Camp started with a private practice viewing at Solar4America Ice before being bussed over to Hockey Giant where they hosted its annual camp kick-off. This year's kick-off included a complimentary skate sharpening, discounted shopping and a Q&A with Sharks Assistant General Manager Joe Will before being treated to lunch catered by Ike's Place. Day one wrapped up back at Solar4America Ice with a private tour of the Sharks and San Jose Barracuda locker rooms.
On Saturday, Fantasy Campers were immediately greeted by their alumni coaches and teammates, including, for the first time, Dan Boyle and Douglas Murray. Scott Hannan and Evgeni Nabokov also suited up for the game and Tom Pederson manned the bench for Team White, while Rob Zettler coached Team Teal.
Throughout the day, participants replicated the same routine Sharks players have on a game day, including: a warm-up and stretch with Strength and Conditioning Coach, Mike Potenza, a morning skate with instruction from alumni coaches, a game footage video tutorial led by Video Coach Dan Darrow, before participating in the cornerstone event, a 60-minute regulation game that began by skating through the iconic Shark Head on the ice at SAP Center.
Once S.J. Sharkie dropped the first puck of the contest, the campers were ready to take on the Sharks alumni. Comcast SportsNet broadcaster, Brodie Brazil, also surprised campers by suiting up to play with Team White. The alumni let loose during the game, including Murray exchanging friendly pleasantries with a camper. In addition, more than 300 family members and friends were in attendance to cheer the campers on.
Team Teal held a hefty lead until about midway through the game, when Team White slowly chipped away at the scoreboard. However, Team Teal held on to secure a 10-8 victory.
After the game, participants got a chance to chat with Sharks General Manager Doug Wilson before receiving a VIP tour of SAP Center, which led to a private Terrace Suite on the Penthouse Level where they enjoyed a happy hour hosted by Sharks Sports & Entertainment Chief Operation Officer, John Tortora. Campers and their guests then stayed to view the Sharks game versus the Arizona Coyotes.
The Sharks Foundation would like to thank Hockey Giant, who served as the presenting sponsor for the second straight year of Shark for a Day Fantasy Camp, as well as Ike's Love & Sandwiches for catering the camp kick-off, as well as Vineyard 7&8 General Manager & Associate Winemaker Wesley Steffens, who donated wine for all the campers and participated as a goalie in net for Team Teal. Funds raised by the Foundation's 2017 Fantasy Camp will help improve the lives of underserved youth and families in the Bay Area.