Programming note: Ducks-Sharks coverage starts Saturday at 7 p.m. with Sharks Pregame Live on Comcast SportsNet California
SAN JOSE – Ryan Lowe wasn’t planning on going anywhere during what is one of the busiest travel days of the year.
The 31-year-old was all the way down in Huntington Beach on Wednesday morning getting ready to enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday when he got a call from Sharks assistant general manager Wayne Thomas. The Sharks needed a backup goalie to Antti Niemi as soon as possible after it was determined that Troy Grosenick wouldn’t be able to suit up due to an upper body injury.
Lowe, who now lives in San Jose and is the Jr. Sharks goalie coach, was the guy they wanted.
“I said absolutely, and decided to enjoy the Thanksgiving travel up the freeways of California,” said Lowe, a San Jose State alum. “Awesome day, awesome experience.”
During his time as San Jose State, Lowe helped the Spartans make the national tournament during his final three seasons there from 2005-07. He was a national team All-American in 2006, the first in SJSU’s history, and was named as the MVP of his team twice.
He most recently played professionally in Australia, but managed to get into one ECHL game for 25 minutes in 2007-08 when the starting goalie for the Utah Grizzlies got hurt.
“I kind of know the routine, but this stage and obviously being the NHL, there’s nothing else like it. Just seeing how these guys get ready for a game is something I’ll never forget.”
The Sharks lost 2-0 to the Calgary Flames, but that didn’t seem to put a damper on Lowe’s experience. He arrived at SAP Center around 5 p.m., sat in on all the pregame meetings, and took warmups in a teal sweater with uniform number one on the back.
That part wasn’t exactly new territory for Lowe, who tends goal when needed during the Sharks late summer skates just before training camp begins.
“That was a lot of fun, but this takes it to the next level,” he said. “I know their shots, I’ll tell you that.”
There was some commotion among fans on some blogs and Twitter on Wednesday afternoon, when it was revealed that Lowe is actually a pretty big Kings fan. In one photo that was floating around from his Facebook page, Lowe is celebrating the Kings’ Game 7 victory at SAP Center last April. The Jr. Sharks hired him about a week later.
Lowe relayed that he was born in LA and “grew up at the Great Western Forum,” the old home of the Kings.
On Wednesday night, though, that seemed to be the furthest thing from his mind.
“It’s an interesting subject but tonight I was a Shark, and it was awesome. I really wish we would have pulled out the win,” he said.