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Earning his shot

Goaltender Étienne Marcoux quickly turned a tryout invite to an All-Star invite

Jan 13, 2018

(By Liv Rogowski)

Étienne Marcoux. You may know him as “ET”, or the one who fans go absolutely crazy for as he makes his way through the flames out onto the ice. The rookie goaltender has certainly made a name for himself this season with the Indy Fuel, but there is much more to the story.

Upon completing a five-year Junior career in the Quebec League, he was rewarded for his play when the Anaheim Ducks drafted him for the 2014-15 season. ET saw time between the Utah Grizzlies and the Rapid City Rush in the ECHL to kick off his professional career.

However, with all great stories, there comes adversity. Marcoux underwent a double shoulder surgery in 2015 that would put the goaltender out for a nine-month recovery. A college degree was heavy on his mind, so his journey would quickly take him to the University of New Brunswick to continue his hockey and academic career.

While in college, Marcoux led the Varsity Reds to not one, but two National Championships during the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons. On top of the two national titles, the native of Laval, Quebec racked up a 31-4-0 record, along with a 1.86 goals against average and a .914 save percentage during his two years in Fredericton. As a collegiate athlete, winning a National Championship is the ultimate goal to achieve; but little did Marcoux know, his career was only just getting started.

Raised in Montreal, it was standard to live and breathe hockey. Marcoux fell in love with the game when he was only five years old. Growing up, ET and his father would always watch the Montreal Canadiens on TV.

“I loved to watch the Habs’ goaltender, José Théodore. I could never take my eyes off of his gear.”

At a whopping six years of age, he triumphantly announced to his father that he wanted to be a goaltender.

“As soon as I put the pads on, I fell in love with it… So here I am, still a goalie!” said a beaming Marcoux.

Fast-forward 18 years later, after a whirlwind of playing multiple years in the Quebec League, a stint in the ECHL, two rejuvenated shoulders paired with two national titles, the goaltender got a call that would catapult his hockey career to another level. Fuel head coach Bernie John offered him an opportunity to continue his professional hockey career in an Indianapolis sweater.

Marcoux arrived to Indy on a tryout contract. He understood his role of playing behind starters Matt Tomkins and Collin Delia and was more than eager to move up in the ranks. As the season progressed, injuries in the system led to the recalls of Delia and eventually Tomkins to the Rockford IceHogs, Indy’s AHL affiliate. With both of his creasemates suddenly in Rockford, Marcoux knew that this was his time to prove what he was all about, and he undeniably did not miss a beat.

“When I came to Indy, I just knew I was going to work hard in practice and do the best I can for the team. Having that type of mentality has helped me so much. I want to give my team a chance to win every time I go onto the ice.”

The young goaltender has done just that, posting an 8-7-1 through 18 appearances for the Fuel, leading all rookies with a .930 save percentage. The league has taken notice, as Marcoux earned CCM/ECHL Rookie of the Month honors for December – and most recently – was picked to represent the hometown team in the 2018 CCM/ECHL All-Star Classic on January 15 in Indianapolis.

Humbled, Marcoux ensured that although he has been selected, it was a total group effort that stemmed from his Fuel teammates.

“It’s been a great journey… I love the group of guys we have. It’s really important as a team to gel together, and that’s exactly the type of group that this is.”

Picked to backstop the North Division All-Star team, Marcoux is more than ready to tackle this huge experience. Games will be played in a 3-on-3 format, taking the speed of the game to an entire new level.

“I’m going to enjoy every moment... You never know if you’re ever going to have another opportunity to play in an All-Star game. It’s going to be fun,” concluded the rookie-turned-All-Star, with hints of glinting focus in his eyes. 

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