New goalie recalls Chaulk banner goof
The Komets’ new No. 1 goaltender, Zach Fucale, is a native of Montreal. So, it’s not surprising, that when he was asked which goalies he idolized while growing up, he went to two native sons of Quebec.
“Growing up, I was always loved Marty Brodeur,” Fucale said of the legendary New Jersey Devils goalie, who went into the Hockey Hall of Fame this year. “I played with a replica of his helmet for years and years. And Jose Theodore was in Montreal (with the Canadiens) when I was younger, and I always enjoyed watching him. But, mainly, Marty Brodeur.”
Fucale, 23, is with the Komets through their affiliation with the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights. He played 18 games last season with Laval of the American Hockey League, going 10-7-0 with a 3.26 goals-against average and a .890 save percentage, and he also played 11 ECHL games with Brampton, going 5-4-0 with a 2.83 GAA and a .913 SP.
Asked for a memory of playing at Memorial Coliseum, he remembered all too well Feb. 18, 2017, when the No. 91 of former Komets captain and current Brampton coach Colin Chaulk was retired but the banner was raised upside down because of a mistake by a Coliseum employee.
“I was in the building when that incident happened,” Fucale said. “But we were so happy for our coach. He had some fantastic years here, winning (five) championships and all that. It was great to see that there were so many people in this building cheering that on. It was unfortunate that we lost that game in overtime.”
Captain, My Captain
The biggest applause at the lunch before the first practice were for the original captain of the Komets, George Drysdale, who donned the “C” in 1952-53. If the players didn’t have a sense of the history of the team before then, they did once they saw Drysdale sitting next to Norm Waslawski, who played for Fort Wayne in 1958-59 and from 1962 to 1969.
Dane Fox scorched the Komets while playing for the Kalamazoo Wings from 2014 to 2016. And when he’d score, they’d play that Ylvis song “The Fox (What Does the Fox Say)” at Wings Event Center, much to the annoyance of the Fort Wayne fans who made the trek to Kalamazoo, Michigan.
Maybe the Komets will return the favor now. They have Dane’s younger brother. Trent Fox, 21, totaled 24 goals and 53 points in 60 games last season for the Ontario Hockey League’s Mississauga Steelheads.
The Komets have only two exhibition games : with the Indy Fuel at Indianapolis on Friday and at the Coliseum on Saturday. To compensate, they will scrimmage at practices this week.
“We’ll film the scrimmages, we’ll have referees out for the scrimmages, and that will be an important thing,” coach Gary Graham said. “Evaluating guys during practices is one thing, but during game settings is where you really want to see the sparks.”