Four members of the San Jose Sharks organization took time out of their busy training camp schedule on Wednesday to visit an enthusiastic crowd at the Oakland Ice Center operated by Sharks Ice.
Players Dan DaSilva, Derek Joslin, Frazer McLaren and Mike Moore
joined SJ Sharkie at the OIC to run a hockey clinic, skate with the public and sign autographs.
Young Oakland Bears players were given the opportunity to learn from the pros as the men in teal shared tips and techniques on the arena's NHL-sized ice surface.
Members of the rink's fledgling sled hockey program also participated in the clinic. Sponsored by the Bay Area Outreach and Recreation Program (BORP), the sled hockey initiative has been made possible in part by grants from Kristi Yamaguchi's Always Dream Foundation and the NHLPA Goals & Dreams Fund, in partnership with Sharks Ice which donates ice time and instruction.
"For the physically disabled athletes playing Sled Hockey, the opportunity to skate with an NHL player and have them pass pucks to you is something that just doesn't happen everyday, if ever," said Trooper Johnson, former Paralympic basketball player who heads the sled hockey program for BORP. "The Sled Hockey program continues to grow and Oakland Ice Center continues to make opportunities happen for the entire community."
The Sharks players split their ice time between the clinic and skating with members of the public on the larger Olympic-sized rink at the OIC. Amongst the fans were dozens of children from the Lincoln Square Recreation Center, an Oakland Parks & Recreation program located in the heart of Chinatown.
The children from Lincoln Square attend a weekly skating class at the OIC, offered free of charge as part of Sharks Ice's commitment to providing affordable community access to the rink.
At the end of the day, fans lined up for an autograph session. While the line was long, the players made sure that no one left empty handed! It seemed that no item of clothing or equipment went unsigned, and everyone left with huge smiles.
Oakland Ice Center operated by Sharks Ice
Sharks Ice at Oakland is the latest ice facility to be operated by Silicon Valley Sports & Entertainment, the parent company of the NHL's San Jose Sharks. The facility, completed in 1995, contains one NHL-sized ice surface and one Olympic sized ice surface and accommodates ice hockey, figure skating, broomball, curling, speed skating, ice dancing, as well as public skating. Sharks Ice at Oakland, along with Sharks Ice at San Jose and Sharks Ice at Fremont currently holds the largest number of Adult USA Hockey participants of any facility in the nation. The facility features an in-house pro shop, large meeting and party spaces, and a full service snack bar to serve patrons of all ages. Sharks Ice at Oakland is located at 519 18th St. in Oakland, California. For more information, visit www.oaklandice.com