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Skiing or Hockey- Clayton Park Bio [2/2]

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Clayton Park Biography 

 

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Clayton Downhill Skiing at age 15

 

Clayton Park was born on September 23rd, 2001 in Vienna, Austria. From a young age he showed lots of interest in sports and grew up watching the Vienna Capitals (professional hockey team). His parents had season tickets so he went to every game! Another thing he enjoyed as a young kid was going to the local ski hills to watch the downhill skiers. He was amazed by the talent of the hockey players & downhill skiers in his community. At the young age of 3 his dad taught him how to skate on a local pond near downtown. Then at the age of 5 he strapped on the goalie pads for the first time and this was the start of his legacy! However, this was not the only sport that he was interested in participating in. At the age of 6 his dad took him skiing & he fell in love with the sport. As a young kid he fell in love with both hockey & downhill skiing & was very good at both sports. By the age of 7 Clayton was playing both sports competitively! He knew there may come a time when he would have to choose one over the other but that was future Clayton’s problem. When Clayton hit age 15, he was a high ranked junior prospect as he played for the Vienna Thunder AAA Midget team. That season he was out to impress the scouts and show them how good of a goalie he really was. That season he stunned the scouts as he put up an incredible 1.97 GAA and picked up 11 shutouts. At the end of the season he was named the year's top AAA goaltender. However, he was also doing outstanding in downhill skiing and was one of the highest upcoming ranked downhill skiers. Clayton's skiing coach told him he had the potential to make the next winter Olympics but would have to give up hockey and focus on training. At this time Clayton was also being scouted by North American hockey leagues & had a big decision to make. Would he give up hockey and peruse downhill skiing? Or would he pump the brakes on downhill skiing for a while and pursue a career in hockey. The big decision had to be made in just one short week. Clayton sat down one night and discussed this life changing decision with his parents. His mom seen more potential in downhill skiing but his dad saw more potential in North American hockey. However, his parents agreed they would support him in whatever he decided. Finally, the day came where he had to make his final decision. Clayton sat down with his skiing coach & told him he appreciated the opportunity but decided to follow his hockey dream. The North American hockey scouts were very excited to learn he chose hockey & Clayton started receiving lots of phone calls regarding his hockey career. Clayton's parents knew that if he wanted to be a hockey star, they would have to move him to North America. A few months before turning 16 Clayton & his family moved to Detroit, Michigan to start their new life. That year Clayton would be entered in the USHL draft & hopefully get drafted! He prayed a team would see his high goaltending IQ & his hard work ethic & take a chance on him. Over the next few weeks he would meet with 16 different teams & try to sell himself the best he could. As the draft drew closer Clayton got very nervous and hoped he made the right decision choosing hockey. On draft day Clayton hugged his family members as he was drafted late in the 4th round by his new team the Chicago Steel. Clayton was very happy to be a member of the Steel & was happy to have went fairly early in the draft.  

 

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Clayton playing for the Vienna Thunder (Midget AAA)

 

Over the off season, the Steel goalie coach worked to prepare Clayton for his big opportunity in the USHL. In the second game of the preseason, Clayton watched from the bench as their starting goalie suffered a serious injury early in the first period. Clayton entered the net for his first taste of the action and did not disappoint. He went on to stop 29 of 30 shots & lead his team to victory. After the game the coaches told Clayton they were very impressed & if he proved himself this was an opportunity to earn the starting position. Over the rest of the preseason and into the regular season he continued to shine and make his name known. In his first regular season game he shut the door & recorded his first career shutout stopping all 24 shots! He continued to shine & helped lead his team to a perfect 4-0 over the next few games. At this point the coaches told Clayton the other goalie would not be returning this season and he had won the starting job. He was beyond happy and blessed for such an incredible opportunity. Clayton had an amazing rookie season with the best GAA in the league at 1.99. Also, he recorded 6 shutouts in his rookie season. Unfortunately, Chicago's great season came to an end early as they lost 2-1 in game 7 vs the Saints. However, Clayton was named the first star in a losing effort as he only allowed 2 goals on 34 shots!  

 

The following season Clayton continued to be the starting goalie for the Chicago Steel. He continued to shine with a GAA of 2.01 and he picked up 5 shutouts on the season. The Steel had an incredible playoff run led by an offensive powerhouse & strong goaltending. The Steel met the Stars in the finals and the series went to a deciding game 7. The Steel were up 2-0 after 2 periods & Clayton had made 20 saves on 20 shots. With two minutes remaining in the 3rd period the Stars pulled their goalie in hopes of getting two quik goals. They fired shots from everywhere hoping for a lucky bounce but Clayton stood tall & kept the puck out. With one-minute remaining in game seven the stars sniper walked in on a breakaway, he decked left and tried to go upstairs but was denied by a huge glove save! The stars continued to put everything on the net but Clayton was up to the task. The Steel won the championship with Clayton making 37 saves on 37 shots! He was named the first star of the game and also was awarded the top goaltender of the year!  

 

After a successful USHL career, Clayton Park was entered into the VHLM draft & ultimately one step closer to his dream of playing in the VHL. In the 7th round of the draft, Clayton was drafted 49th overall by the Yukon Rush! He was ecstatic to be drafted by Yukon & now knows he made the right decision choosing hockey over downhill skiing. After his first season with the Rush Clayton Park will be entered into the VHL S66 draft. His parents are so proud of him & now have season tickets to the Yukon Rush! They attend every game to cheer on the man, the myth, the legend, CLAYTON PARK!!!!! 

 

Word Count:1213

Edited by leafssteen
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Review: Good writing. However wouldn't hurt to put it through a word processor. Some spelling mistakes and weird sentences. Also I like to think that his parents make his wikipedia page and at the bottom write how proud of him they are lol. Overall a fun read man.

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Awesome to read about a goalie's background, they're always so different. Thank you for including your stats since you have so much experience in the sport, I would've liked to read more about the connection between downhill skiing and your goalie skills though.  Other than that, great!

Edited by johnnyhockey42
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