The Tri-City Americans may have finished eighth in the Western Conference, but goaltender Eric Comrie did more than enough to impress the Western Hockey League brass, picking up second-team honors Thursday.
Americans captain Mitch Topping was named the Western Conference Humanitarian of the Year.
It is exciting, Comrie said of the honor. Hockey is a team sport and they did a very good job of keeping things to the outside and making things easy for me. Individual awards are earned because of team play.
Comrie, who made 60 starts this season, finished with a 26-25-4-5 record with a 2.57 goals against average and a .925 save percentage. He also had four shutouts, bringing his career total to nine good for third all-time on the Americans list with Drew Owsley (2008-11).
Comrie ranked second in the WHL for save percentage and saves (1,849). He was third in games played and minutes played (3,523), and was sixth in goals against average.
The last goaltender to rank in the top two in save percentage and saves was Spokanes Dustin Tokarski (2008-09).
To say that he is deserving is an understatement, Topping said. Anyone who knows Eric, and knows how much effort he puts in on and off the ice, he is very deserving.
Topping, in his final season in the WHL, won the humanitarian award for the second consecutive year. He is up for the Doug Wickenheiser Memorial Trophy, along with Moose Jaws Sam Fioretti. The winner will be announced at the WHL Awards Luncheon in Calgary on April 30.
Its definitely a huge honor for how much the guys on our team do, Topping said. I dont do it for the recognition, but its a nice touch to wrap up the season. It would have been nice to win last year, but you cant deny what Mr. (Cody) Sylvester did last year. I hope to win this year, but there is some stiff competition around the league.
Topping has been involved in many charitable organizations, including Habitat for Humanity, Second Harvest, school reading programs, working with animals at the Humane Society, helping area youth learn to skate and play hockey, hospital visits, signing events, Salvation Army Kettle Drives and Special Olympics.
Topping and former teammate Justin Feser formed Making Awareness a Top Priority to Fes Out Muscular Dystrophy last season. They kept the charity alive this season and again have raised several thousand dollars.
He really deserves that, Comrie said of Topping. He does so much in the community. Hes always the first guy (at an event) and the last guy to leave. His work with the MDA shows how great a person he is.
Taylor Procyshen (2009) is the only Americans player to win the Doug Wickenheiser Memorial Trophy as WHL Humanitarian of the Year.
The Amercians open their best-of-7 playoff series Saturday with Kelowna at Prospera Place.
The Rockets won the Scotty Munro Trophy for the best regular-season record at 57-11-0-4 (118 points).
WESTERN CONFERENCE ALL-STAR TEAMS
FIRST ALL-STAR TEAM
Goaltender Jordon Cooke (Leduc, AB), Kelowna Rockets
Defenseman Derrick Pouliot (Weyburn, SK), Portland Winterhawks
Defenseman Shea Theodore (Aldergrove, BC), Seattle Thunderbirds
Forward Nicolas Petan (Delta, BC), Portland Winterhawks *
Forward Mitch Holmberg (Sherwood Park, AB), Spokane Chiefs *
Forward Oliver Bjorkstrand (Herning, Denmark), Portland Winterhawks
SECOND ALL-STAR TEAM
Goaltender Eric Comrie (Edmonton, AB), Tri-City Americans
Defenseman Damon Severson (Melville, SK), Kelowna Rockets
Defenseman Madison Bowey (Winnipeg, MB), Kelowna Rockets
Forward Joshua Winquist (St. Albert, AB), Everett Silvertips
Forward Todd Fiddler (Meadow Lake, SK), Prince George Cougars
Forward Mike Aviani (North Vancouver, BC), Spokane Chiefs
EASTERN CONFERENCE ALL-STAR TEAMS
FIRST ALL-STAR TEAM
Goaltender Tristan Jarry (Delta, BC), Edmonton Oil Kings
Defenseman Josh Morrissey (Calgary, AB), Prince Albert Raiders
Defenseman Ryan Pulock (Grandview, MB) Brandon Wheat Kings
Forward Sam Reinhart (Vancouver, BC), Kootenay Ice *
Forward Leon Draisaitl (Cologne, Germany), Prince Albert Raiders
Forward Curtis Lazar (Vernon, BC), Edmonton Oil Kings
SECOND ALL-STAR TEAM
Goaltender Patrik Bartosak (Koprivnice, CZR), Red Deer Rebels
Defenseman Griffin Reinhart (West Vancouver, BC), Edmonton Oil Kings
Defenseman Julius Honka (Jyvaskyla, Finland), Swift Current Broncos
Forward Curtis Valk (Medicine Hat, AB), Medicine Hat Tigers
Forward Jaedon Descheneau (Edmonton, AB), Kootenay Ice
Forward Chandler Stephenson (Saskatoon, SK), Regina Pate
* indicates unanimous selection 2014 Awards Finalists
WHL Rookie of the Year
Eastern Conference Nikita Scherbak (Moscow, Russia), Saskatoon Blades
Western Conference Nick Merkley (Calgary, AB), Kelowna Rockets
WHL Goaltender of the Year
Eastern Conference Tristan Jarry (Delta, BC), Edmonton Oil Kings
Western Conference Jordon Cooke (Leduc, AB), Kelowna Rockets
WHL Defenseman of the Year
Eastern Conference Josh Morrissey (Calgary, AB), Prince Albert Raiders
Western Conference Derrick Pouliot (Weyburn, SK), Portland Winterhawks
WHL Most Sportsmanlike Player of the Year
Eastern Conference Sam Reinhart (Vancouver, BC), Kootenay Ice
Western Conference Mitch Holmberg (Sherwood Park, AB), Spokane Chiefs
WHL Scholastic Player of the Year
Eastern Conference Nelson Nogier (Saskatoon, SK) Saskatoon Blades
Western Conference Dominic Turgeon (Cherry Hills, CO) Portland Winterhawks
WHL Coach of the Year
Eastern Conference Shaun Clouston, Medicine Hat Tigers
Western Conference Dave Lowry, Victoria Royals
WHL Executive of the Year
Eastern Conference Mike Moore, Calgary Hitmen
Western Conference Cam Hope, Victoria Royals
WHL Humanitarian of the Year
Eastern Conference Sam Fioretti (Calgary, AB) Moose Jaw Warriors
Western Conference Mitch Topping (Red Deer, AB) Tri City Americans
WHL Marketing / Business Award
Eastern Conference Regina Pats
Western Conference Seattle Thunderbirds