On the afternoon of September 21, 2011, six San Jose Sharks prospects and S.J. Sharkie paid a special visit to the Oakland Ice Center. Mike Connolly, Thomas Heemskerk
, Matt Irwin, James Livingston
, Matt Pelech
and Tyson Sexsmith
took time out of their busy tryout schedule to run a hockey clinic for young members of the Oakland Bears youth travel teams. Players from the Bears Mite (8U), Squirt (10U) and PeeWee (12U) teams got to practice their moves and even scrimmage with Sharkie and the men in teal.
Also in attendance were the newest members of the Oakland Technical High School high school ice hockey squad, along with Coach Jim Halpin. The Oakland Tech Hockey program grew out of an ice sports physical education class offered at the rink starting in the fall of 2008. In 2009, Oakland Tech became one of the first two public high schools in California to field a high school hockey team.
In addition to learning new skills, the kids had the opportunity to ask questions about what it takes to be a member of the Sharks organization. “Having just completed their own tryout process, our young players really appreciate the opportunity to greet the Sharks and wish them well as they compete for spots on the San Jose roster,” said Emily Teachout, Oakland Sharks Ice Hockey Manager. “It’s a real thrill for the kids to see someone they’ve met become a contributing member of their favorite NHL team.”
Following the skills session, the players greeted fans and signed autographs. Fans lined up through two lobbies waiting for their opportunity to interact with the men in teal. No one was disappointed, leaving with plenty of autographed memorabilia and great memories.