Indianapolis, Indiana - After three stellar seasons backstopping the St. F.X. X-Men hockey program, goaltender Chase Marchand signed his first pro hockey contact and has reported to the Indy Fuel of East Coast Hockey league (ECHL).
“I talked to them a little bit throughout the year but I wasn’t sure what was going to happen after the season; we didn’t talk about contracts or anything like that,” Marchand told the Casket March 25, from Indianapolis, Indiana, home of the Fuel.
“I’m excited for the opportunity for sure.”
The Fuel are a farm-team for both the American Hockey League’s Rockford IceHogs and their parent team, the Chicago Blackhawks. Marchand attended the Blackhawks’ developmental camp last summer.
“Obviously, I was given the opportunity last summer to go to the developmental camp; this makes it easy for them to watch me in Indy,” Marchand said about the connection.
“I’m expecting to play a couple of games before the season is over, which is a good opportunity for them to have a look at me.”
The Fuel are four-points out of a playoff spot with the season’s end date (April 6) looming.
“We have a chance to make playoffs and I’m expecting to play a couple of games, which, again, is a good opportunity,” the Hammonds Plains native and cousin to Boston Bruins’ star forward Brad Marchand, said.
As for his recently completed season with the national bronze-medalists, one which saw him dealing with an injury, Marchand described it as “up-and-down,” not only for himself, but his whole team.
“There were a lot of injuries to some key players on the team but, overall, it was a good year for me and the team,” he said. “We overcame adversity multiple times, and we were able to win bronze at the nationals when we weren’t even expected to be at the [national] championships. It was a good way to finish my year at St. F.X.”
As for his time with the Blue and White, Marchand said he “loved every minute of it.”
“It was a wonderful experience, I learned a lot and I think I grew as a person … not only as a hockey player,” he said.
“The coaches had a big effect on me. The people they bring in and already had there [when he arrived] says a lot about who St. F.X. is and what they stand for. For the people who go there, it makes them a better person; the values and culture. Overall, I just really enjoyed my three years.”
Head coach Brad Peddle described Marchand as a “tremendous” player.
“[He] was a big part of our program’s success during his past three years,” Peddle said as part of a St. F.X. athletics department release announcing the signing.
“He was extremely dedicated and worked very hard over his time here to establish himself as one the top goaltenders in the nation. He is very deserving of this opportunity and we wish him the absolute best in his professional hockey pursuit.”
The release also notes Marchand’s statistics and awards earned while wearing the blue and white, including a record of 34-23-0 in 60 regular season games, with a career goals against average of 2.67 and a .916 save percentage.
“He was a key part of the 2017 AUS champion X-Men squad and earned AUS all-rookie team honours in that, his first season,” the release further notes.
“Marchand was a two-time AUS first team all-star in 2017 and 2018, enjoying his most successful season in 2018 when he was named AUS most valuable player, U SPORTS first team all-Canadian, and was honoured as the U SPORTS goaltender of the year. AUS finalists the past two seasons, Marchand helped backstop the X-Men to a U SPORTS silver medal in 2018 and a bronze medal just last week at the University Cup championship.”