Tri-City goalie Eric Comrie called up to AHL

April 2, 2014 

Tri-City Americans goaltender Eric Comrie (1) was called up to the St. John's IceCaps of the AHL on Monday.

DOYLE POTENTEAU

While the rest of his Tri-City Americans teammates were packing up their gear and heading home, goalie Eric Comrie was on a plane bound for St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, to join the IceCaps of the American Hockey League.

The IceCaps, an affiliate of the Winnipeg Jets, brought in Comrie and Prince Albert Raiders defenseman Josh Morrissey for the remainder of the season.

IceCaps coach Keith McCambridge said it is an opportunity to evaluate the players at a higher level, and possibly get them a little ice time.

“He is a good goalie in our organization who we are excited about,” McCambridge said of Comrie. “Giving him this opportunity in the AHL will introduce him to what the game is like and help him make that transition to the pro game when that time comes.”

When Comrie left the Tri-Cities, it was a nice spring day. By the time his plane landed Monday night, he was just ahead of a storm that dumped almost 16 inches of snow in St. John’s overnight.

“We were just happy to get him here ahead of the storm,” McCambridge said. “Not only did we get a lot of snow, but it was on top of what we already had. He was at practice Tuesday and (Wednesday).”

Comrie, 18, played in 60 games for the Americans with a 2.57 goals against average and a .925 save percentage — second among WHL goaltenders.

He was selected by the Jets in the second round (59th overall) of the 2013 NHL draft.

“The amount of games he played and the numbers he maintained, that’s why we are excited about him,” McCambridge said. “He had, what 52 saves in Game 3 of the playoffs? His numbers are strong.”

McCambridge got a look at Comrie last summer at the Jets’ development camp in Penticton, British Columbia, and was impressed.

“He is an excellent person and a real driven player,” McCambridge said. “The structure and the way he tracks the puck, and how focused he is, is at a high level. We are excited to have him here. We will have to see how things transpire here the next couple of weeks.”

McCambridge also was impressed by Comrie’s game-day preparation.

“The time I had him development camp, when it was his turn, he was dialed in,” McCambridge said. “When he didn’t play, he had a different approach to the game.”

The IceCaps are second in the Atlantic Division at 41-22-1-4 (87 points) and begin a six-game homestand Friday with back-to-back games against the Springfield Falcons.

“We still don’t have anything locked up yet,” McCambridge said. “We are young, but have older bubble players who have done a good job supporting the younger players.”

With goalie Michael Hutchinson and defenseman Ben Chiarot getting called up to the Jets, Comrie and Morrissey have a good chance of getting on the ice.

“We have to see how things play out,” McCambridge said. “If there is an opportunity to have him go in, we’d like to give him that opportunity.”

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