When you look at 19-year-old Zach Fucales career so far, there is a very long list of impressive accomplishments. From Rosemere, Quebec, he started with the Saint-Eustache Vikings playing a total of 38 games before being drafted by the Halifax Mooseheads 11th overall in the 2011 QMJHL draft. The 2011-12 season became the year Fucale would take the place of number one goalie for Halifax. He played 58 games and averaged a .892 save percentage, was named to the QMJHL all-rookie team and won the Raymond Lagace trophy. Already having an excellent rookie year on the team, the upcoming seasons were only going to get better for number 31.
2012-13 was a historical season for every fan and member of the Halifax Mooseheads. Fucale won 61 games that year and lost only six, became a Presidents Cup champion, etched his name on the Memorial Cup and brought both championships to Halifax for the first time. He was named CHL goaltender of the week twice and was named to the CHL Top Prospects team. 2012 was also the year he started playing for Team Canada, winning a gold medal at the Ivan Hlinka Tournament. His performance earned himself another spot on Team Canada for the 2014 World Junior Tournament. The team did not walk away with a medal but the Fucale chants became famous in the arena and across the country. Another special moment happened for Zach and his family at the 2013 NHL draft. In the same draft with teammates, Nathan Mackinnon and Jonathan Drouin, Zach was drafted to his favourite NHL team, the Montreal Canadiens, going 36th overall. Playing in a pre season game on September 5th, 2013 and working alongside his favourite goalie Carey Price in training camp, it’s an exciting thing to see for both Fucale and his major fan base. He even caught the eye of Florida Panthers goalie Roberto Luongo, who recently interviewed him for The Hockey News.
"“Those 30 seconds after your name is called and you’re with your girlfriend and sisters and your parents and you put the jersey on and you walk up to the Canadiens’ table; You can relive those 30 seconds and you’ll never really get tired of it”"
Last season for the Mooseheads, the team went to the semi-finals, ending their run against the current Presidents Cup champions, Val d’or. Zach had a .907 save percentage in the regular season and had a .882 save percentage in 15 playoff games. He earned himself the Jacques Plante trophy, Paul Dumont trophy for personality of the year and was named to the QMJHL second All-Star team. As well as having his name on a few QMJHL and CHL awards, Zach Fucale is all over the Mooseheads record books, beating some notable alumni. He currently holds the franchise record for most wins with 119, most shutouts with 11 and most minutes with 10277:40. He is also working towards another important record this season as he is 22 wins away from beating Jacques Cloutiers record for most wins in the QMJHL.
"“Every game of the year, you look at it like it’s the last game of the year, it’s for a championship, as if it’s the most important game you’re ever going to play”"
Zach is a fan favourite in moose country for many reasons, including his countless hours in the community. Over the years he has made visits to schools, a frequent for “Hals Pals” and started a program with Hockey Helps to raise funds for autism near his hometown called La Fondation de l’Autisme des Laurentides. He has also been the Steele Subaru Scholastic Player of the Month many times. Coming up for Zach off the ice is the Salvation Army Kettle Ball Kickoff and on the ice, being the netminder for team QMJHL in the Subway Super Series vs. Russia on November 18th and 19th. Before that, Halifax and their star goalie, look to continue improving records with back to back games coming up against the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles November 14th and 15th.