International Ice Hockey Federation

Comrie lives out dream

Comrie lives out dream

Jets prospect won gold at 2015 World Juniors

Published 25.04.2017 09:17 GMT-4 | Author Dhiren Mahiban
Comrie lives out dream
Eric Comrie (left) and Zachary Fucale (right) backstopped Canada to gold on home ice in Toronto at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship. Photo: Richard Wolowicz / HHOF-IIHF Images
Growing up in Edmonton, Alberta, Eric Comrie dreamed of an opportunity to represent Canada at an IIHF World Junior Championship.

The Winnipeg Jets prospect lived out his childhood dream in 2015 when he along with Montreal Canadiens prospect Zach Fucale backstopped Team Canada to a gold medal victory at Toronto’s Air Canada Centre.

Now in his second season with the American Hockey League’s Manitoba Moose, the goaltender has no problem pointing to where his international experience ranks in his young career.

“It was pretty unbelievable, winning gold in front of the home fans here in Canada was probably the greatest moment of my hockey career,” Comrie said during a recent visit to Toronto to play the Marlies. “It was just so exciting here bringing gold back to Canada.

“When you have that home crowd support behind you, you can win every year.”

Comrie, who backed up Fucale, made two starts at the tournament posting a 1.50 G.A.A. and a 93.3 save percentage.

“I didn't go there for individual success,” he said. “We went there for winning the gold medal and that's the most important thing. When we accomplished that, that's the biggest thing in the tournament for me. Nothing else mattered until that moment.”

The gold won by the Canadians at the 2015 tournament is the lone medal the nation has won in the past four tournaments.

Comrie, 21, plans to keep an eye on this year’s team with the hopes the Canadians once again emerge victorious.

“I love the tournament. I watched it last year, I love watching Canada, it's so much fun,” Comrie said. ”They play with so much passion every single year. One of the greatest hockey (memories) growing up is just watching them play.

“It was a dream of mine ever since I was young. For me to be able to accomplish that dream was a huge stepping-stone in my career, and I'm really really happy.”

Fellow Winnipeg Jets’ prospect Nic Petan finished second in tournament scoring, behind only teammate Sam Reinhart, at the 2015 event with four goals and seven assists.

The 21-year-old, who also participated at the 2014 tournament where Canada finished fourth, believes the experience of the Under-20 tournament builds life-long friendships.

“I think whenever you get together with a group of guys that are the best in the country, you just have this bond,” said Petan. “It's a bond that'll never be broken, but just the way we won, worked hard, we never really let up and the best thing to take out of it was the gold medal.”

The Delta, British Columbia native, who has split this season between the Moose and Jets, calls the World Juniors a part of his holiday tradition.

“I watch it every year, I think for everybody its a little Christmas tradition or new years tradition,” he said. “I'm looking forward to this year, Jack (Roslovic) could possibly play there so I think it's a great tournament great showcase tournament.”

Both Comrie and Petan will be cheering for Roslovic, who has been invited to Team USA’s selection camp for the World Juniors, but when it comes time to the Americans and Canadians facing off, both Comrie and Petan shared a similar sentiment.

“I want him to do as well as he can, I want him to him to be one of the great players there,” Comrie said. “He's an unbelievable player here, he's been great for our team this year, he's a skilled player, a lot of speed.

“He's getting stronger, he's pretty strong for a young guy and I know he's going to do awesome. I really hope he makes Team USA and hopefully they lose in the final to Canada.”


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