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Former Solar Bears goaltender Zach Fucale records shutout in NHL debut

Friday, November 12th
Former Solar Bears goaltender Zach Fucale records shutout in NHL debut

ORLANDO, Fla. — The Orlando Solar Bears are proud to announce that goaltender Zach Fucale made his NHL debut on Thursday evening with the Washington Capitals, becoming the ninth former member of the Solar Bears to reach the NHL after first developing in Orlando with the ECHL club.

Fucale, 26, got the start in goal for the Capitals in a 2-0 road win against the Detroit Red Wings at Little Caesars Arena, stopping all 21 shots he faced to become the first goaltender in Capitals history to record a shutout in his NHL debut, and the first NHL goaltender to record a shutout in their first game since former Solar Bears goaltender Garret Sparks did so in his NHL debut with the Toronto Maple Leafs on Nov. 30, 2015.

A former second-round selection, 36th overall, by the Montréal Canadiens in the 2013 NHL Draft, Fucale was loaned to the Solar Bears while under contract to the Syracuse Crunch of the American Hockey League during the 2019-20 season. Fucale appeared in 24 games with Orlando, going 10-8-4 with a 2.36 goals-against average, a .928 save percentage and four shutouts. His 44 saves in a 3-0 victory at Idaho on Nov. 20, 2019 set a still-standing Solar Bears record for the most saves by a goaltender in a shutout.

Fucale has played in 116 career ECHL games with Orlando, South Carolina, Fort Wayne and Brampton, possessing a 61-33-13 record with a 2.95 GAA, a .905 save percentage and eight shutouts. He has also appeared in 85 career AHL games with Hershey, Syracuse, Chicago, Laval and St. John’s, posting a 40-34-6 record with a 2.82 GAA, a .905 save percentage and three shutouts.

Prior to turning pro, the native of Laval, Quebec enjoyed a decorated junior career, playing for the Quebec Remparts and Halifax Mooseheads of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. In 204 total games, Fucale compiled a record of 134-49-14 with a 2.73 GAA, an .898 save percentage and 13 shutouts. During his time in the QMJHL, Fucale led Halifax to President’s Cup and Memorial Cup championships in 2013, and guided Quebec to the President’s Cup Finals and a Memorial Cup appearance in 2015.

Fucale has also represented his country on the international stage, suiting up at the 2014 and 2015 IIHF World Junior Championships. During the 2015 tournament in Canada, he led the host country to the gold medal, going a perfect 5-0-0 in five games while posting two shutouts and leading the tournament in goals-against average (1.20) and save percentage (.939). Fucale has backstopped Canada to two Spengler Cup championships, winning the Swiss tournament in 2016 and 2019.

Solar Bears NHL Debuts:

Darcy Kuemper – Minnesota Wild – Feb. 12, 2013 at VancouverGarret Sparks – Toronto Maple Leafs – Nov. 30, 2015 vs. EdmontonChristopher Gibson – New York Islanders – Jan. 2, 2016 at PittsburghMike Liambas – Nashville Predators – Dec. 3, 2016 vs. New JerseyJack Rodewald – Ottawa Senators – Oct. 27, 2017 at New JerseyKasimir Kaskisuo – Toronto Maple Leafs – Nov. 16, 2019 at PittsburghMason Marchment – Toronto Maple Leafs – Jan. 2, 2020 at WinnipegConnor Ingram – Nashville Predators – Oct. 24, 2021 at MinnesotaZach Fucale – Washington Capitals – Nov. 11, 2021 at Detroit

NEXT GAME: The Solar Bears are back in action when they continue their road trip up I-95 to take on the Jacksonville Icemen on Friday, Nov. 12 at 7 p.m. at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena. Orlando is back on home ice to take on the Maine Mariners on Saturday, Nov. 20 at 7 p.m. at the AdventHealth Rink at Amway Center.

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