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Donskoi assists hometown skate park with clutch donation

Co-founder of park in Raahe, Finland, thankful for Sharks forward's generosity

by Pat Pickens @Pat_Pickens / Staff Writer

Joonas Donskoi saved the San Jose Sharks in Game 7 of the Western Conference Second Round with a game-winning goal against the Colorado Avalanche, then he saved a skate park in his hometown of Raahe, Finland.

The Sharks forward made a $2,600 donation to the Pulju indoor skate park that stopped it from being forced to close its doors.

Donskoi, an avid skater who hopes to land a kickflip trick at some point after the Sharks season ends, quietly announced the donation Thursday, less than a day after scoring the series-clinching goal.

"I heard they had some problems, so I just wanted to help a little bit," Donskoi said. "I used to skateboard a lot when I was younger so I think it's important for the kids, that they have different hobbies and opportunities and that they have something to do, so that's why I wanted to help."

Valtteri Karjula, a co-founder of the park who grew up skating with Donskoi, announced the good deed on Twitter on Thursday. He also announced that the park would put Donskoi's No. 27 Sharks jersey in the park and hold a public event when he comes home. 

Tweet from @valtterikarjula: Hey @SanJoseSharks & @NHL, yesterday #Donskoi saved our indoor skatepark Pulju with paying off its debt and he realises our needs and necessities as a former skater. We're going to put Donskoi's jersey hanging from the rafters of our local skateboarding hall. ������#nhlfi #raahe

"It was a total surprise and felt surreal," Karjula told "I got a message in the middle of the night saying that [Donskoi] had offered to pay the debt. Immediately, I sent a message to Joonas thanking him personally."

Pulju was built in 2011 but fell into financial strife during lean summer months, when most kids in Finland skate outdoors. They also struggled finding adult administrators to supervise skaters at the club.

Henri Ylikulju, Karjula's friend and the chair of the Raahe-area skateboarders union, sought out Donskoi on Instagram. The whole skating community is grateful that Donskoi said yes.

"[Ylikulju] has been really thankful, and I'm sure the kids that go there are thankful too," Donskoi said. "I'll probably go visit next summer." Staff Writer David Satriano contributed to this story.

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