The last time the Ams and the Rockets squared off, it was a double-header a couple of weekends ago. In those two games, Kelowna fired 87 shots on Eric Comrie, but the Americans came away with 3-2 victories in both games. Should be another good game tonight.
Speaking of Comrie, Coming Down the Pipe! brought him up when talking about drafting goalies:
Since going 1-3 in September, Comrie has been very, very good. No goaltender in the WHL has more wins (14) and He ranks in the top five for both save percentage (.920) and goals against average (2.38). He's posted better numbers in both categories through 6 games in November.----------
The son of a high profile wealthy businessman, brother of a recently retired NHL player and brother-in-law of a popular pop singer, Comrie could very easily have developed an air of self importance or entitlement but in fact, it's quite the opposite.
Comrie has been described to us as remarkably coachable; always ready to listen and is able to take direction and apply it to his game immediately. He's also one of the nicest young men we've had the chance to interview on The Pipeline Show.
The California native has ties to Edmonton and thus qualifies to play internationally for Canada. He made the Ivan Hlinka team this past August amid stiff competition but only appeared in one of the five games Canada played in the tournament.
He was also named to Team WHL in the recent Subway Super Series getting a chance to play the final 30 minutes of Game 6. Although a long shot because of his age, he is getting some consideration by some for Canada's 2013 WJC camp in December.
GM Bob Tory of The Tri-City Americans:
"Unbelievable. He's a special goalie boy, we're very lucky. I was really happy for him at the Subway Series too, coming in cold like that is not easy. He's right in the same mix as Carey Price and Dan Blackburn - just a great work ethic with a real humble personality.
The amazing thing is, I get people who will call like the math tutor who doesn't even come to our games but will phone and tell us what a great kid he is. Down here it's not hockey central so they don't know who Eric Comrie is but I keep getting compliments about how nice of a kid he is. And it's genuine, that's the thing. All his teammates love him." (Coming Down the Pipe!)
Did you get a chance to ask questions of Drydn Dow the other day via Facebook and Twitter? I missed the chance, but I think it's a pretty cool thing they're doing, getting fan-player interaction. Friend of the blog RW13 asked why Dow doesn't get to play forward more often, though I don't think (?) Drydn answered his question. Who knows what the reason is, well, except he's a good defenseman and does a great job at it. But it reminded me of something I've been meaning to mention here.
Have you noticed (one of) the top PK unit? It's comprised of 3 D and a forward. Usually Yuen, Dow, Topping/Hamonic, and Feser. It's an interesting and effective strategy. With Feser you've got a defensive forward, and someone who has in fact played some D, and Dow who is an offensive D-man who has spent time as a forward. Then you have the other two defensemen. It's so effective, the Americans are 5th in the league in PK at 83.7%. I happen to think it's a pretty smart coaching move.
Nice bit in the Herald about Malte and a Swedish friend of his that plays for Kelowna:
Tri-City Americans forward Malte Strömwall and Kelowna Rockets forward Henrik Nyberg live two hours apart back home in Sweden. In the Western Hockey League, they are separated by six hours and the Canadian border, but with Skype and four games against each other this season, they are able to stay in touch.----------
“We have a lot of Skype conversations,” Nyberg said. “Like two hours at a time. It’s nice to have him here.”
“He is a good friend. We talk a lot about our games,” said Strömwall, who noted their conversations are in Swedish.
The friends will face each other tonight in Kelowna, British Columbia, as the Americans begin a three-game trek through the B.C. Division. Tri-City will play at Kamloops on Friday and at Vancouver on Saturday.
This is the third game between the Swedes. The Americans swept the Rockets on Nov. 16-17 at the Toyota Center.
“Malte is a skilled player,” Nyberg said. “He’s good on the power play and a good sniper too. These games (in Kennewick) weren’t that good for us. We just have to keep on going and play hard every game. We have a good team this year. We have four lines that can do it all.” (Herald)
Pre-game starts around 6:45, we'll be liveblogging around here, click the "Read More" to join in.