SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – The San Francisco Bulls, an expansion team of the East Coast Hockey League, has signed its first player, this as the team gets set to hit the ice in October.

Slovakian Peter Sivak, the first player signed to the minor league hockey team, doesn’t speak English, but San Francisco Bulls president and head coach Pat Curcio said his skills speak volumes.

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“I’d really like to see fast skill and at the same time, I’d like to have a team that’s physical,” said Curcio. “And Peter does all of that very well.”

KCBS’ Margie Shafer Reports:

Sivak, who played in the Extraliga, Slovakia’s top professional ice hockey league last year, set the league record for the fastest goal from the start of a game, scoring 4.08 seconds into the first period in a game on January 18 of this year.

Curcio said the signing of Sivak is just adding to the anticipation and excitement for the start of the team’s inaugural season in the ECHL.

“There’s a huge appetite for hockey here in San Francisco,” he said.

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Stanley Cup winning defenseman Bret Hedican said hockey fans are likely to see physical play, as these are some of the players working hard to make it to the National Hockey League.

“The price point is a great thing. You’re going to see some action-packed hockey that’s at an affordable price,” Hedican said.

The team will also be partnering with Hedican’s wife, former U.S. Olympic gold medal figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi and her Always Dream Foundation.

“They are dedicating one game this season to support the Always Dream Foundation, so it’s a really nice partnership,” she said.

The Foundation’s goal is to empower children to reach their dreams through education and inspiration.

The Bulls will officially take the ice in October and will play a 72 game schedule, with 36 home games to be held at the Cow Palace.

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