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Where’s Joe Pavelski?

(Originally published on Kukla’s Korner)

Practice was a little more crowded Monday, there were even two goalies (woo hoo!) so a proper pickup game could be played.  From the Sharks it was the same three as before: Burns, Greiss and MacIntyre, no new developments there.  There were several fans on hand today, including one who wanted to know, and asked loudly, where Joe Pavelski is:

I’m not sure which was doing the asking, they were behind me.

I’m sorry to say I don’t specifically know where Joe Pavelski is right now, then again, I’m not a habitual stalker, and he isn’t required to be present at practice right now.  Anyway, one of these kids really wanted to know where he was and why he wasn’t being put in the game today.  These are serious fans, as you see.

I find it a little disconcerting to not know who all those other skaters are.  I’m nosy, but I’m also a little shy.  Maybe next time I will just accost every one of them on their way to the ice and get their names, so I don’t have to wonder anymore.  But that would be rude.

Elsewhere in Nor Cal hockey…

Sunday night I drove to Santa Rosa to see what a pickup game at Snoopy Ice looked like.  I happened to pick the same night as the Santa Rosa Junior College hockey team was holding tryouts.  They’re called the Polar Bears.  I went to a couple of games last season and I highly recommend the experience, especially to North Bay hockey fans who didn’t even know the JC had a hockey team.

There are not a lot of places to skate in Sonoma County.  Actually, Snoopy’s Home Ice (aka Redwood Empire Ice Arena) is one of the few skating outposts north of the Bay.  It’s been there a long time.  I remember 4-H outings there, I don’t think I was ever injured but I am fairly certain I never got the hang of skating. Ever.

There used to be a public rink in San Francisco too.  I remember that as a fairly dreary place, brightened somewhat by the sound of children’s voices and laughter.  But it wasn’t pretty, inside or out, not like Snoopy’s Home Ice.  When a kid under 12 notices the lack of pretty, it’s probably pretty bad, but maybe I was just a very decor-sensitive child.

Charles Schultz was a hockey fan.  So he built a rink in Santa Rosa, a very pretty one.  You can read the history and see pictures here.

The SRJC Polar Bears haven’t been around long.  It’s a club team and I fear that, like other club teams everywhere, their school isn’t be in a hurry to change that.  No one’s giving out money now, and it seems like it will be a while before schools offer to pay for things like sports and anything else they don’t absolutely have to.

No matter, these guys are going to play anyway.  The team is sort of like a canary in the California hockey mine, and it’s a very robust and lively canary.  So much so that there might even be room for another ice rink up here.  Someone should put that on the to do list for when the economy recovers.  Or maybe just do it anyway like a make-work project.   The Coppolas like to build things up here.  Maybe someone should ask them.

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