Eric Comrie IIHF World Championship Journal #4
Winnipeg Jets goaltender Eric Comrie is currently overseas at the 2017 IIHF World Championship. He has kindly agreed to share his experience while he is in France, taking part in his first non-junior international competition for Team Canada. We hope you enjoy this behind-the-scenes look from one of the top young goalies in the game today!
We started off this morning with a 9am skate. Our game was at 4:15pm vs Belarus, so it was just Chad Johnson, Chris Lee, Sean Burke, and myself. Only one shooter and two goalies, so Sean ran us through a really good skate. He’s pretty much been our goalie coach here.
We worked on a lot of down-low plays with passes out, and quick passes back to get our skating going. You only have half an hour out there, so there isn’t a lot of time for teaching. It’s also a tournament setting, which is only a couple of weeks. The ice times are just about making sure your game is where you want it. We need to feel the puck and make sure we’re confident in case we have to come into a game. That was the main focus of being out there.
After the skate, we went back to the hotel and had a quick lunch. I went to play some ping pong with Lee. He’s a really good ping pong player, so it was a fun challenge. Then it was game time! It was a fantastic game for Canada, and we ended up winning 6-0.
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Picks didn’t have a ton of work, but he made a couple of nice saves when called upon. The games where you aren’t getting a ton of work are sometimes the toughest. He managed the game really well, all things considered. He was able to stay sharp, which was the important thing.
I know when I play in games like that, it can be tough. I try not to deviate from my routine very much. I still go for a skate around my end of the rink, or drink from my water bottle the same amount, regardless of the number of shots I’m facing. I focus on my breathing when the puck is in the other end, because it keeps me in the moment. It keeps my mind clear.
It’s easy for your mind to start to wander when you aren’t facing a lot of shots. You start thinking about things that you don’t need to be thinking about. I find that breathing exercises are a great way of keeping yourself from getting sidetracked. I also like to make sure I’m doing some visualization during stoppages. I track pucks in my mind, making sure I’m using proper technique and it keeps me feeling confident.
Another thing that really helps, I find, is communication with your defencemen if the puck does end up in your zone. Talking to them helps make things a lot easier, and it’s a great way to stay engaged in the game if you aren’t seeing a ton of action. It’s a must in pro hockey. The same thing applies for handling the puck. Your defencemen will love it, because it makes the game so much easier for them. It’s a great skill and tool to have. Every goalie can do it, but you just need to work at it. It’s one of the best things you can do for your game.
Pickard obviously had a good routine, because he was able to stay sharp in the game against Belarus. He was in “the zone” and it was a big part in Canada getting the win.
It was a great day, and we’re looking forward to the next game!