Monday, December 26, 2011

Absurd Goalie Monday: Mario Brunetta

This week's instalment has quite the interesting route to gain some kind of success. While he did have a chance in the the pros, he plied his trade more over in the Europe-- while helping grow sport in one of the unknown spots of European hockey. This week, the profile of Mario Brunetta.

Brunetta started his career off in the Quebec Midget AAA ranks with the Ste-Foy Gouverneurs starting in the 1982-83 season, playing in 22 that season with a 17-4-1 record and 4-1 in five playoff games, while in the 1983-84 season, Brunetta went 11-23-4 in 39 games, but 8-3 in the playoffs.

Brunetta made the move to the QMJHL in the 1984-85 season with the Quebec Remparts, going 20-18-1 in 45 appearances, then 0-2 in the playoffs. Brunetta was drafted by the Quebec Nordiques in the 1985 NHL Draft, but the 1985-86 season moved Brunetta to the Laval Titan, playing in 63 games and finishing with a record of 30-28-1 while going 9-5 in 14 playoff games. Back with Laval in the 1986-87 season, Brunetta compiled a 27-25-4 record in 59 games and an 8-6 record in 14 playoff games.

The 1987-88 season bumped Brunetta to the pro ranks, mainly with the Nordiques, finishing with a 10-12-1 record in 29 games that season, while also spending time in the AHL with the Fredericton Express going 4-1-0 in five games there. The bulk of the 1988-89 season for Brunetta was spent in the AHL with the Halifax Citadels, going 14-14-5 in 36 games while going 1-3-0 in five games with the Nordiques. Brunetta stucks with Halifax for the majority of the 1989-90 season, finishing with a 8-14-2 record in 24 games, but then getting the called from the Nordiques to play in six games with a 1-2-0 record.

During the summer of 1990, Brunetta was released by the Nordiques. Without a contract in North America, Brunetta went overseas to Italy to play for HC Asiago, playing in 93 games from the 1990-91 season until the 1992-93 season. Brunetta went onto play for SG Milano Saima for the 1993-94 and 1994-95 season, spanning 29 games. The 1995-96 season had Brunetta play in 40 games for Varese Hockey.

Starting in the 1996-97 season, Brunetta went over to Germany to play for EHC Eisbaren Berlin for three season until the 1998-99 season for 111 games, getting them to the Finals in 1998, but losing in the championship game. Brunetta moved to Sweden for the 1999-2000 season, playing 28 games for Frolunda before he would go back to Germany in the 2000-01 season with ERC Ingolstadt, which would last for two seasons for 86 games, where he would put up seven shutouts in that time. Brunetta moved back to North America to play 10 games for the Quebec Semi-Pro League's Quebec Aces, going 3-4-0 before hanging up his pads.

During his playing tenure, Brunetta played for Italy in international competitions, as he got Italian citizenship when playing overseas. He played in three World Championships for Italy in 1995, 1998, and 2002-- going 1-3-1 in eight games played. He also played for Italy in the 1998 Olympics, losing the only game he played in.

Not the most orthodox career path, but Brunetta found a way to actually get himself into international play when he probably wouldn't have otherwise. While he did get pushed out of the way in Quebec, he didn't give up and probably helped out some of the programs in Italy grow because of his experience in the NHL. 

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