Journal Star, Peoria, Ill.
PEORIA, Ill. — Darren Clark had a hand in one of the most iconic plays in Peoria Rivermen franchise history.
Now he’ll have his face on the wall that honors the team’s Hall of Fame.
Clark was recently voted into the Rivermen Hall of Fame and his induction ceremony will take place at the Feb. 17 game in Carver Arena.
The 5-foot-8 center was on the power play unit that notched a game-winning, Kelly Cup clinching goal in sudden-death overtime to defeat Louisiana in Game 6 and win the ECHL title in 1999-2000.
Clark sent a pass from the circle to player-assistant coach Jason Christie, who in turn sent it up the slot to Blaine Fitzpatrick, whose one-timer past goaltender Mike Valley ended a storybook playoff series.
Clark was a strong skater with great hands and had both scoring and playmaking ability, and joined the Rivermen after a four-year run at Colorado College.
In his rookie season — that championship year — he notched 24 goals with 32 assists in 69 games. He added another four goals with six assists in 18 playoff games.
The Superior native played through the 2002-03 season for the Rivermen. He earned a 34-game call-up to the AHL, with Worcester — then the St. Louis Blues farm club — during which he scored six goals and added four assists.
Clark played 251 games for his Rivermen career, during which he scored 62 goals with 130 assists.
In a six-year pro career, he also played for IHL Chicago, AHL Worcester (twice), and ECHL San Diego.
Clark, now 42 and living in the Minneapolis area, played in three straight Wisconsin state hockey tournaments for the Superior Spartans, winning it all in 1992 and finishing second in 1991 and 1993.
He led the Spartans in scoring during his senior season (1992-93) with 22 goals and 20 assists. Superior went 10-8-2 through the regular season before defeating Hayward, Ashland and New Richmond for berth in the state tournament.
In Madison the Spartans defeated Chippewa Falls and Madison East before losing to Antigo 2-1 in overtime in the championship game, despite outshooting the Red Robins 34-18.
Clark then played in the USHL for the Wisconsin Capitols and Omaha Lancers from 1993-95 and Colorado College from 1995-1999.
As a senior at CC, Clark had 17 goals and 23 assists in 29 games. Over four seasons with the Tigers he had 155 points with 72 goals and 83 assists.
The Rivermen are planning a festive celebration around their Hall of Fame induction night, as a special jersey will be worn by players, a player reunion event is in planning stages, and it’s possible a bobblehead of Clark might be distributed.
More details will follow as the fall approaches.
Clark joins head coach Don Granato and teammates Jason Christie, Dan Hodge, Trevor Baker, Darren Maloney and Joe Rybar as Hall of Fame members from that 1999-2000 championship team.
The Superior Telegram contributed to this story.
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