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Sparks named ECHL Goaltender of the Week

by Chris Lund / Toronto Maple Leafs


Leafs goaltending prospect Garret Sparks has recorded stellar numbers in his second professional season. This week he took some hardware to match the stats as he earned the ECHL Goaltender of the Week on Feb. 10.

Sparks appeared in three games for the Orlando Solar Bears from Feb. 2-8 and posted a 3-0-0 record. During that span he recorded a 0.67 goals-against average and .977 save-percentage.

The player of the week nod is just the latest accomplishment in an impressive run of form for Sparks. He is 10-1-1 in his last 12 starts for the Solar Bears, which brings his record to 12-3-1 for the season. He leads the ECHL with a .936 save-percentage and sits fifth in goals-against average at 2.34.

In two appearances with the Toronto Marlies this season, Sparks has a shutout win and overtime loss. He recorded a .966 save-percentage and 1.00 goals-against average in those outings.

"Our organization is very proud of the progression Garret has shown in 2015 with Orlando," said Leafs assistant GM Kyle Dubas. "Under the eye of Vince Williams and his staff with the Orlando Solar Bears as well as Rick St. Croix and Piero Greco, Garret has overcome injury issues in the first half of the season and really come on very strong of late for the Solar Bears"

His numbers have seen improvement across the board from one season ago.

Last season Sparks played 10 games for the Solar Bears, posting a 4-6-0 record. He had a .916 save-percentage and 2.82 goals-against average in those outings.

At the AHL level he was 11-6-1 in 21 appearances for the Toronto Marlies. He owned a .915 save-percentage and 2.63 goals-against average in those games.

"Garret's situation in Orlando highlights the importance of our relationship with the Solar Bears," said Dubas. "They are affording Garret excellent coaching and development opportunities and allowed Garret to get his season on track."

The recent play from Sparks bodes well for the outlook of the Leafs goaltending stable. His work ethic in tandem with the team's development staff and coaching staff in Orlando have him in a position to realize the potential Toronto saw when they selected him out of the Guelph Storm.

According to Dubas, this is just another sign of what Sparks can bring to organization down the road.

"Garret's commitment on and off the ice of late has allowed him to have excellent success in goal and reaffirm to our organization of the awesome potential that Garret possesses."

Sparks and the Solar Bears return to action at home on Feb. 12 against Kalamazoo.

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