Ams' goalie Comrie to miss NHL/CHL Top Prospects game

Annie Fowler, Herald staff writerJanuary 14, 2013 

Eric Comrie is one of the top young talents in hockey, but an injury will keep the Tri-City Americans starting goalie from displaying his skills at Wednesday’s CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

“He is devastated,” Tri-City general manager Bob Tory said. “He is struggling with a small muscle strain. He felt it in Kamloops (last Wednesday) and again in practice in Kelowna (last Thursday). This game was a big thing for him, but his season is more important.”

Comrie, NHL Central Scouting’s top-ranked Western Hockey League goalie, received treatment Monday and had an MRI.

“It has been a hectic day and a hard day,” Comrie said. “It’s sad for me not to go. It would have been fun and a great experience. I have to get healthy for the rest of the year and come back stronger. I will be out 10-14 days. It’s just a minor hip strain.”

Comrie will be replaced on Team Orr by Philippe Desrosiers of the Rimouski Oceanic of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. Desrosiers is 19-7-4 with a 2.97 goals against average and a .905 save percentage.

Comrie, who is 20-14-1-2 in 37 starts this season, is the fifth Tri-City player to be selected for the game, following in the footsteps of forward Scott Gomez (1998), defenseman Shawn Belle (2003), and goalies Carey Price (2005) and Chet Pickard (2008).

“It is a big honor and he was looking forward to it, but part of the maturation process of being a top athlete is dealing with injuries,” Tory said. “With goalies, the positions they are in and the moves they make are unnatural. It’s easy for something to go. We are working with the team doctors. Rest will help. Hopefully it is nothing that is reoccurring. This just happened at an inopportune time.”

Tory noted that Comrie’s draft status will not be hurt by him missing the Top Prospects Game.

“The teams that are interested in Eric have been to see him play a half-dozen times already,” Tory said. “This is a media event.”

With Comrie out of action, Luke Lee-Knight has played the last two games for Tri-City, taking a loss in Kelowna and posting a 5-3 win over Seattle on Sunday.

The team had prepared for Lee-Knight to play tonight at Everett and Wednesday at Vancouver before Comrie was injured. Those plans remain the same.

“We are confident in Luke,” Tory said. “He would have been playing any way.”

The Americans will bring in affiliate player Troy Trombley to back up Lee-Knight in Everett and Vancouver. The 6-foot-6, 195-pound Trombley plays for the Melville Millionaires of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League. In six games this season, he is 5-1-0-0 with a 3.64 GAA and a .891 save percentage.

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