Francois Brassard is a well-known and fan-favorite goaltender of the Maine Mariners and has had a great season thus far. Brassard has skated in three seasons with the Mariners (2018-19, 2019-20, and 2022-23). In the 20-21 season and 21-22 seasons, Brassard skated in games with the Wheeling Nailers, the Jacksonville Icemen of the ECHL, and the Hartford Wolf Pack of the AHL.
Brassard started his career as a Maine Mariner in their inaugural season in 2018-19 when hockey finally returned to Portland, ME. He played in six games that season, a fraction of what his fellow goaltenders [Connor LaCouvee (20), Brandon Halverson (30), and Hannu Toivonen (9)]. He almost doubled his games played the following season, bringing him up to 14. LaCouvee had stuck around that season and played in 36, and Adam Huska played in 3. In games that I saw Brassard skate in, it was clear to me that he had some incredible talent, and I hoped to see him stick around in seasons going forward.
Unfortunately, the 2019-20 season was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic. When the time came for the 2020-21 season and the entire Northern Division of the ECHL withdrew, I was a little melancholy. I wondered about the players’ careers and knew we would probably see them go elsewhere. As previously stated, Brassard did end up playing with the Wheeling Nailers of the ECHL, skating in 9 games that season. The following season, he played with the Jacksonville Icemen for 31 games and the Hartford Wolf Pack of the AHL for three games.
Brassard returned to the Mariners this season and has skated in 23 games, in which he’s shut out the opposing team twice. Once against the Trois-Rivieres Lions at the Colisee Videotron on February 11, 2023, and once against the Worcester Railers just recently on March 5th.
In the game against Trois-Rivieres, he stopped a total of 41 shots to blank the Lions. Brassard was a key factor in the success of the team that evening, especially in the second period, where he made 14 saves. He went on to stop another 16 in the third period, denying the Lions any chance of getting on the board. In the game against the Railers on March 5th, Brassard stepped up once again and stopped all 27 shots made on the goal to pitch his second shutout of the season.
In a rare moment earlier in the season, Brassard scored a ‘goalie goal,’ becoming the first goaltender to score a goal in Maine Mariners history. The team was playing on the road against the Adirondack Thunder, and they wanted to hold onto their two-goal lead in the third period. That is when the puck ended up with Brassard, and he ripped a shot at the empty net and scored with 19.5 seconds left in the game; The puck moved too fast for the Thunder to catch up. Francois Brassard has had an incredible season this year, and I look forward to seeing what else he might be able to accomplish in the remaining games.