During an early-season matchup last November between the San Francisco Bulls and the Idaho Steelheads, backup goalie Crichton Clark sat on the Idaho bench awaiting an chance to get work between the pipes.
What most of the Cow Palace crowd didn’t know was that Clark wasn’t a regular member of the Steelheads roster at all: He was a member of the Bulls’ training camp squad, dropped into the game at the last minute.
When asked about the experience of sitting on the visiting team’s bench for the 4-2 Bulls win, Clark laughed:
“Yeah, I think (head athletic trainer) Osama (Kassab) had passed my name on to one of the coaches! Idaho was short a goalie so they called me up, I think it was the night before, and I practiced with (Idaho) the next morning.”
Clark, who’s been playing hockey since his high school days in Philadelphia, was one of three players to punch his ticket to Bulls training camp after attending San Francisco’s open tryouts that preceded their inaugural season:
“I went with a couple of guys that I play in a men’s league with. … We went out there for a couple days. And the team called me up one night and invited me out to training camp. … It had been a long time since I had been to a tryout, so I was pretty excited to get the opportunity to play.”
The Bulls are doing something very similar this season with open tryout on September 14 and 15.
But this season, San Francisco’s pro hockey club is adding an extra twist.
In addition to being invited to training camp and getting ice time with players and coaches, at least one participant will be guaranteed a spot in a preseason tilt this October, with an opportunity to participate in a regular season game.
So while Clark’s chance to dress for Idaho was a chance occurrence, the Bulls are offering that opportunity right from the start.
When asked if he would be attending tryouts again this year, Clark didn’t hesitate to answer:
“Yeah! I will definitely be there mid-September.”
Quick disclaimer for any of you thinking of hopping onto the ice just for a good laugh: Open tryout participants must be 18 years of age or older and must bring their own equipment. Participants also cannot be under contract with any professional team or league at the AA level or higher.
For more information on the Bulls open tryouts and to sign up, please visit sfbulls.com.