Mooseheads backup Chris Clarke's Twitter handle is @PineRider30 (Steve Hiscock photo)
SASKATOON, Sask. — Chris Clarke could not resist after the Halifax Mooseheads poured off the bench to celebrate their win on Tuesday.
While Sportsnet reporter Gene Principe sought out his on-ice interview following Halifax's 9-2 win over the London Knights, the Mooseheads rarely used backup goalie pointed in jest to himself, knowing full well that hat-trick scorer Martin Frk would get the close-up. It's part of a shtick the Fall River, N.S., native has built over the season while backing up highly touted prospect Zach Fucale on one of the most talented teams in major junior hockey. The winner-take-all sports world reverse-cultivates personalities who get a lot of mileage from playing very little — Bob Uecker, Jim Ralph, Paul Shirley, Mark Titus.
Clarke has embraced mining his backup status for comedy gold occasionally, tweeting, "Already have the best seat in the house," when the Mooseheads sold out the first two games of the QMJHL final in fewer than 20 minutes. The 20-year-old has a perspective about it, making sure he is a good teammate. It's not surprising he has his priorities in order. Clarke is headed off this fall to enrol in the prestigious commerce program at Queen's University in Kingston, Ont., which trains someone for a MBA, not the NHL. Typically, it takes a high school average in the 95 per cent range to get into Queen's commerce.
"The Twitter thing, PineRider30, the started last year when I was with Gatineau," says Clarke, who got into 19 games during the regular season. "I was playing behind François Lacerte and he was pretty much playing every game, too. When you know your role and know your position, take it and run with it. I always see BizNasty2Point (NHL player Paul Bissonnette). He sits on the bench every game.
"Why not try and start something up yourself? There’s no point in trying to have a big ego when you shouldn’t. I think people accept you more as a backup if you know that you’re a backup.
"I’m a pretty laid-back guy," Clarke adds. "Guys are going to poke fun at me for sitting on the bench, I’m going to poke fun at myself for sitting on the bench ... I’m still into the game. Why not have that to draw a little more attention to myself?"
Read More »from 2013 Memorial Cup: Mooseheads backup Chris Clarke’s self-deprecating Twitter name reveals character, not just a character