Sullivan Sparkes signedto Iowa Heartlanders

At the end of February, former Golden Hawks hockey Sullivan Sparkes was signed by the Iowa Heartlanders of the ECHL.

This signing marked the end of Sparkes’s tenure playing for the Golden Hawks, where he served as a forward since the 2021-2022 season.

Sparkes looks fondly upon his time as a Golden Hawk, acknowledging its essential role in his recent signing.

“It was crucial to my development as a person and a hockey player,” Sparkes said. “I was able to be around many leaders as a rookie in the league, and I learned valuable lessons about how to carry myself on and off the ice.”

Sparkes competed in 66 regular season games, during which he racked up 12 goals and 21 assists. He also managed to add a goal and two assists during the playoffs.

Many team members impacted Sparkes and played a role in this most recent accomplishment.

I was able to be around many leaders as a rookie in the league, and I learned valuable lessons about how to carry myself on and on the ice

Sullivan Sparkes, former Golden
Hawk forward

“Peter Soligno, our assistant coach, was extremely helpful to me as a resource; he helped me navigate through adversity and felt like a friend more than a coach through my years.”

Sparkes also brought up former teammates James Thompson and Graeme Maclean as role models who helped him get comfortable after initially entering the league.

Trainer Mark Young also played an essential role in keeping Sparkes’ equipment in check and being a positive influence.

Sparkes is a native of Waterloo, which made his time as a Golden Hawk all the more special, “It has been special getting the chance to attend university here and represent one of the universities in my hometown as an athlete.”

With a new team comes new expectations – not just from his coaching staff, but from Sparkes himself.

He’s currently focused on doing what he can to take his Heartlanders to the playoffs and hoping to score his first professional goal along the way.

“Trying to take it day by day and learn as much as I can in this opportunity I’ve earned,” said Sparkes.

While his time in Waterloo as a student-athlete is behind him, Sparkes still cherishes his time at Laurier.

“Thank you to teammates, coaches, and the student body for giving me some of the best years of my life. I had the time of my life being a Golden Hawk and wish nothing but the best for Laurier,” said Sparkes.

Iowa might be a long way away from Waterloo, but as Sparkes is well aware if you’re a Golden Hawk once, you’ll be a Golden Hawk forever.

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