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Canada's Comrie strong in first game after surgery

by Adam Kimelman

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- For his first game in nearly seven months, Eric Comrie acquitted himself quite nicely.

The Canada starting goalie, who last played Jan. 9 and had season-ending hip surgery in February, finished with 37 saves on 40 shots in Canada's 5-3 defeat of Finland on Wednesday.

He allowed a goal on the first shot he faced less than a minute into the game, but was strong throughout, including backstopping Canada to a perfect 6-for-6 effort on the penalty kill.

"He played outstanding," Canada coach Brent Sutter said. "I thought he played very, very well. For a young man that hadn't played in a long time, he'd been out for a good portion of last season, that's what we wanted to see, how he could handle it. He made some huge saves, great saves for us. He was very poised in net. You could tell he was very athletic. He's a smart goaltender. You could tell he knows how to play the game."

Comrie said he was happy with his effort, but said he needed an early challenge to get himself going. He certainly got one, as Finland got three power plays in the first period. Their best offensive push came on the first one, but Comrie sprawled to deny Henri Ikonen twice all alone in front.

"Took a little while to get going, but after the first shot I buckled down and got going," he said.

When asked if he wanted a mulligan for any of the ones that got past him, Comrie said he wanted three of them.

"Every single game I play I want to stop every single puck," he said, "and I think every single puck is stoppable."


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