(RAPID CITY, SD) – The Rapid City Rush announced today that goaltender Tyler Parks has re-signed with the Rush and will return for his second season with the team for the 2019-20 ECHL campaign.
Parks joined the Rush last offseason and spent the entire year in the Black Hills, marking his first full season of ECHL hockey. The 6’7”, 230-pound net-minder registered a record of 5-9-2-0 in 20 games last season with a team-leading 2.68 GAA and team-leading .919 SV%. Parks achieved a career-first with his first ECHL win on December 21, 2018, leading a comeback win in a shootout against the Wichita Thunder, stopping 29 of 32 shots and all three shooters in the shootout round. Following his first win, he put together an admirable second half of the season, going 5-6-2-0 in his last 15 games with a 2.67 GAA and .917 SV%, and at one point strung a four-game point streak from January 25th in Kalamazoo to February 8th at home against Wichita.
“I decided to come back because of how well I was treated last year by the community, coaches, and team staff. Plus, we have some unfinished business to attend to, so if we don’t make playoffs this year, it’s unacceptable,” Parks remarked on his return to Rapid City. “The most important thing I learned this last year is consistency is key, and as part of that, you need to bring it day in and day out at practice and when your number is called on game day. It was a treat to learn from guys like Adam Carlson and Coach Battochio last season, and I know it vaulted my game to a higher level than I had before.
“Another important lesson I learned is that your next day is never given. Do your best to get the job done, and perform your best every night to ensure you have a tomorrow,” Parks continued. “Hockey is so mental, but I tried to keep my emotions in check, and I trusted the process. The guys had my back, and my hard work led to my success. Next year I expect to make playoffs, and expect to help the boys win more games. I want to play more games next season, and prove to the rest of the league that I can do it at this level and do whatever is necessary to rise above. I want to say thanks for all support from our fans, and look forward to a great season again.”
“I can’t express enough how proud I was of the development of Tyler last year. He was a crucial piece for us in the second half of the season last year, and I’m happy he’s coming back into the fold,” Rush Head Coach Daniel Tetrault explained of Parks’ return to Rapid City. “At the start of the year, Tyler had absolutely no goal support, yet he persevered, trusted the process, and didn’t get discouraged. In fact, his consistent positive attitude is what eventually vaulted his level of play. After that first win, he put on his work boots and was rock solid down the stretch. He knows he’ll get a better opportunity this season to showcase his potential with more playing time coming up. I feel like I’m repeating myself often regarding my players, but Tyler is also a genuine individual and a great kid, so I’m looking forward to continue working with him this next season.”
Originally from St. Louis, Missouri, Parks came to the Rush organization after spending most of his time in the SPHL. In the 2017-18 season, he played in 17 games with the Peoria Rivermen, boasting a personal-best record of 12-3-2 with 1 shutout, a 2.58 GAA, and .915 SV%. Parks led the Rivermen to the SPHL’s Presidents Cup Finals with a 5-2 record in 7 games with another shutout, a 2.16 GAA, and .926 SV%, but fell to the Huntsville Havoc in three games. Additionally, he played in three ECHL games that season with the Reading Royals and Florida Everblades. Prior to turning professional, Parks played one season of NCAA-III hockey with Adrian College (11gp, 8-2-1, 1 SO, 1.90 GAA, .925 SV%), two seasons in the NCAA with St. Lawrence University (8gp, 2-2-0, 2.84 GAA, .871 SV%), and two seasons in the NAHL with the Springfield Jr. Blues and Minot Minotauros (63gp, 30-26-4, 3 SO, 2.78 GAA, .916 SV%).
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