Paul Dainton Springfield Falcons

Pro Hockey Player Paul Dainton

How They Made It: Springfield Falcons Goalie Paul Dainton

Today we sat down with Springfield Falcons goaltender Paul Dainton. Paul played college hockey at Umass-Amherst in the Hockey East Conference where he was captain as a senior and won numerous awards throughout his career. It is safe to say Paul has had an unorthodox path to Pro hockey! As a junior player in Canada Paul had to fight through a lot of adversity to make it to Division 1 level. Young players can learn a lot about dedication, commitment and love for the game from Paul!

1.)  Explain the amount of dedication that you have for the game of Hockey and the importance of practice.
Hockey has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. Every weekend growing up was spent on the road playing games or in tournaments, and everyday there was practice. As I got older, off ice conditioning became a huge part of my game, nutrition, mental exercises.etc. My entire life revolved around hockey, and still does today, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. What you put into practice is what you get out of it. If you want to be successful, than its imperative that you push yourself to work as hard as you can, every single day. 
2.) What allows you to be confident while under pressure?
To remain confident while under pressure, is to trust in my abilities. I know what I have done to get where I am, and I know the amount of hard work that it took. And all in all, it is just a game, so I just have fun with it.  
3.)  What professional Hockey player did you look up to when you were growing up and why?
– I looked up to Patrick Roy growing up because I liked his style of play. When I grew up and realized I was not going to be taller, I realized I couldn’t play his style of game, so I gravitated over to Tim Thomas, who plays more aggressive and is a smaller goalie. 
4.)  Have you always felt that you would make it to the Professional level?
– When I was younger, playing hockey was strictly for fun. It was a huge commitment for not only me, but for my family as well. Obviously every kid grows up wanting to play in the NHL, but I never thought that playing Pro Hockey was obtainable until I was in college. My goal was always just getting a scholarship and to go from there. Now that I am here, I am vey grateful for what I am doing, and it wouldn’t be possible without the support of my family, friends, teammates, billets, coaches, and everyone who has played a part in my life to assist me getting to where I am today. 
5.)  What is the most important lesson you have learned while playing Hockey?
– The most important lesson I have learned would have to be to enjoy everyday you are playing hockey and don’t take it for granted. There are plenty of people who don’t have the opportunity to do what I am doing, so I am very blessed. And the older I get, I start to understand more and more the sacrifices that my parents have made for me, and without them, I wouldn’t have accomplished much. 
6.)  What influence have your parents had on you while playing hockey?
– When I was younger, my parents were basically my personal taxi driver, taking me to practice, games, tournaments. Then as I got older, they became my personal ATM. “I need money, I need gear, etc”. The amount that they have sacrificed for me is remarkable. And you don’t realize this until you get older and start paying your own bills, and start living your own life. They sacrificed their time, spent thousands of dollars, mental support of having a goalie for a son, the list doesn’t end what they have done. They never took a night off, and to all the younger kids reading this, make sure you say the words ‘Thank you” a lot more than what you do now. 
7.)  What Coach had the biggest impact on your career and why?
– My goalie coach Mike Buckley has had a huge impact on my career. We started working together when I was at Umass and he refined my game to help me get to the Pro level. I have stayed in the states to train with him over the past 5 years now, and I really see a big difference in my game. 
8.)  Was there ever a time in your career where you weren’t playing a lot or having success on the ice? How did you handle this and get back to playing at a high level?
When I was playing my first year of Jr. A in Canada, I was told I had a spot on a team away from home. I had moved away, enrolled in school, opened a new bank account, and things were looking up. I hadn’t gone to any other tryouts that year because this specific team told me I was sure things for a spot. I was literally beside myself when I was cut the day before the season started, and had no place to play. I was trying out for my high school hockey team back home as a forward at this point. Luckily, I signed as the third goalie for a team about 45 minutes from home a few weeks later, spent some time in the stands, and eventually worked my way on the squad and split the playing time the rest of the year. It happened to be the worst place team in Canada, and I got pelted with shots every game. We only won 4 games all season. This was tough to deal with at the time, but looking back, it was the best thing that could have happened to me. It made better, and gave me opportunities next season. There will always be things that happen during your career that seem like the end of the world, but if you persevere through them, you will overcome whatever it is. If you are able to use whatever negative things around you as motivation to make yourself better, you will be amazed what you can accomplish. 
9.)  What do you think is the most important factor that allowed you to be successful in the game of Hockey?
– I could sit here and talk about work ethic, sacrifice, off ice training, etc but I won’t. For me it was the support of my family and playing for them. 
10.)  What drill would you like to pass on to Prodigy Hockey players to help develop their game?  How does the drill work?
 –  Drills are hard to explain, but if I would give some advice, it would be to do skating drills. The better skater you are, the faster you get into position, which makes it that much easier to stop the puck.
We here at Prodigy Hockey would like to thank Paul Dainton for taking the time to sit down with us and give great insight into why he is a Professional hockey player.  If you have any questions for Paul comment below!