18-year-old St. John's rookie goalie has rough ride in first pro start
By Robin Short
Telegram Sports Editor
Eric Comrie made out just fine in his professional hockey debut last week, but his first pro start didn’t go quite so well Saturday night as the St. John’s IceCaps were spanked 7-2 by the Hartford Wolf Pack at Mile One Centre.
Comrie, the 18-year-old goalie fresh off a junior campaign with the Western Hockey League’s Tri-City Americans, let in two goals on the first three shots he faced and Hartford was off to the races, winning its seventh straight game in the American Hockey League.
Comrie made his debut last week, coming in for a beleaguered Tyler Beskorowany against the Springfield Falcons, and stopped 35 of 40 shots in an 8-7 Springfield win.
Not that Comrie was entirely to blame in this Saturday stinker. Truth be told, the IceCaps looked to have mailed this one in.
Was it a case of a playoff-bound IceCaps team getting a little too comfortable against the club that’s out of the playoff picture, despite the Wolf Pack’s recent win streak?
“No,” said St. John’s coach Keith McCambridge, “I would say this was a team that came out real strong, and us not being at the level we needed to play.
“I liked our start, but other than that, there was no execution. We were not a level to play against anybody.”
The IceCaps struck first when Austen Brassard scored his third goal of the season 1:39 in.
That’s where the good news begins and ends.
The Wolf Pack countered just under two minutes later, and took a 2-1 lead into the first-period intermission. Hartford led 4-2 after 40 minutes.
It was announced before the game goaltender Michael Hutchinson, defencemen Ben Chiarot and Zach Redmond and forwards Eric O’Dell, Carl Klingberg and Patrice Cormier were reassigned to St. John’s from Winnipeg.
The six were due to arrived in town Saturday evening, and obviously unavailable for the game. When asked if the six would play in the Sunday (4 p.m., Mile One) rematch, McCambridge was coy, but it’s hard to imagine them not playing in light of Saturday’s outcome.
The loss also sealed the Manchester Monarchs’ Atlantic Division crown.
St. John’s drops to 43-23-2-5, though the IceCaps remain in fourth place in the Eastern Conference.
J.T. Miller paced the Wolf Pack with a pair of goals. Shawn O’Donnell, Danny Kristo, Oscar Lindberg, Marek Hrivik and Nick Latta also scored. Jerome Samson had the other St. John’s goal.
Comrie finished the night with 23 saves. David LeNeveu made 31 stops in the Hartford net.