Mar 16, 2023
ST. LOUIS, MO. – St. Louis Blues President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Doug Armstrong announced today the team has recalled goaltender Joel Hofer from the AHL’s Springfield Thunderbirds under emergency conditions.
Additionally, the Thunderbirds announced that they have signed goaltender Garret Sparks to a professional tryout.
Hofer, 22, has played in 40 games with the Thunderbirds this season, posting a record of 22-14-4 with a 2.50 goals-against average, a .920 save percentage, and four shutouts.
The T-Birds’ All-Star sits in the top three among all AHL goaltenders in wins and save percentage. He made his NHL debut with St. Louis on Nov. 4, 2021, defeating the San Jose Sharks with 23 saves on 26 shots.
Sparks, 29, has played in 13 games this season with the ECHL’s Orlando Solar Bears, posting a 7-3-3 record with a 3.48 goals-against average and an .884 save percentage. In 175 career AHL games, Sparks is 98-57-13 with 17 shutouts, a 2.34 goals-against average, and a .921 save percentage.
In 2017-18 with the Toronto Marlies, Sparks led the AHL in wins (31), save percentage (.936), and goals-against average (1.79) en route to the Baz Bastien Memorial Award as the league’s top goaltender. Sparks led the Marlies to the Calder Cup title that season as well.
In addition, Sparks has played in 40 NHL games with Toronto, Vegas, and Los Angeles, going 15-18-2 with a 3.05 goals-against average and .899 save percentage.
The Thunderbirds continue their Calder Cup Playoff push on Friday night in Hartford as they tangle with the Wolf Pack for a 7:00 p.m. puck drop at XL Center.
Thunderbirds fans can reserve their seats for upcoming games by calling (413) 739-GOAL (4625) or visiting www.SpringfieldThunderbirds.com.
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