Eric Comrie made quite an impression during his relief appearance in the the finale of the Subway Series against Russia, stopping 17 of 18, including a couple spectacular saves, in a period and a half of action for Team WHL.
For Comrie it was simply the latest good impression in a season that seems destined to end as a high NHL draft pick, maybe even as the the first goaltender selected, next summer. As insightful off the ice as he is exciting to watch on it, Comrie certainly had InGoal’s attention during a recent chat about puck tracking, something that will be the focus of our February Magazine.
Comrie’s play isn’t the only thing worthy of attention, however. His Tri-City Captain America mask jumps out as being a first-round pick candidate as well.
Painted by Jason Bartziokas, who is quickly making a name for himself with his WHL lids, it is both stunning in person and a perfect play on the Tri-City Americans name.
As Bartziokas explains, it was an idea he had before, so when Comrie called in mid-August, he was excited.
“I was eager to paint this design as the left side of the mask had already been loosely sketched out and pitched two years earlier to WHL Alumni client Drew Owsley, but Owsley decided to go with an ‘Uncle Sam’ motif for his Americans mask,” Bartziokas said. “With one side of the mask being somewhat mapped out, I created the other which incorporated Tri-City’s new third jersey logo and another image of Captain America. I always present a small colour sketch to my clients on what I envision their mask will look like. At this point we can discuss any alterations and changes that want to be made. … Working with Eric was fantastic. It was my first time painting for Eric and he gave me a lot of artistic freedom and like every WHL client that I have dealt with is well spoken and communicates his ideas clearly, making the process easier and very enjoyable.”
Which sounds a lot like talking goaltending with the personable 17-year-old stopper.
Bartziokas, who is based in Alberta, doesn’t have a company website but said he can be reached through his Facebook Page, by email at email@example.com, or on Twitter. In addition to the close up shots of the mask from InGoal photographer Clint Trahan below, Bartziokas sent along some of the early sketches he made for Comrie: