The San Jose Sharks have the best record in the NHL right now, and they couldn’t say the same if they didn’t practice hard every day. Of course, they may want to think about taking the next few practices off because their practice rink seems to be cursed, and it’s killing off hockey players left and right.
Sharks Ice is not only the home of the Sharks practice facilities, but it also hosts the largest adult hockey league in the United States with over 3,000 players. Well, actually it’s not at 3,000 anymore. It’s more like 2,998 after two players shuffled off this mortal coil while playing there on Sunday night.
Brian Kobata, 38, of Morgan Hill was playing with his team, Mug Shots, and had just scored a goal against the A Team, when he grimaced and fell down, Kobata’s wife, Heidi, said.
Two teammates tried to save Kobata by giving him CPR and using a defibrillator, a San Jose Fire Department spokesman said. Paramedics were called at 9:06 p.m. and he was taken to a hospital.
In another game that started at 11:15 p.m., Kelly Calabro, 41, of Alameda was leading his team, Beer, in a comeback against The Shenanigans, when he fell on his back. Calabro’s teammates also tried CPR but failed to revive their friend.
“It’s a very unfortunate and tragic situation,” said Ken Arnold, senior director of communications for Silicon Valley Sports and Entertainment, which operates the facility at Tenth Street and East Alma Avenue.
As amazing as it seems that two men would drop dead at the same hockey rink within hours of each other, it’s actually not all that crazy. Arnold goes on in the article to say that an ambulance is called to the rink every 18 months, so this entire ordeal is not totally unexpected.
Though, as tragic as these events are, I tend to be a glass half full kind of guy. All this means is that the rink has 36 months before they’ll need to call the paramedics again.