Eric Comrie to start for Canada in New Year’s Eve game vs. USA

Eric Comrie has been pegged by Canadian coach Benoit Groulx as the starter for Canada in its pivotal New Year’s Eve showdown against USA. The winner of that game will take Group A and play the fourth-place team in Group B in the quarterfinal Friday night.

BROSSARD, Que. – In something of a mild surprise, Hockey Canada announced that Eric Comrie of the Tri-City Americans will be in goal when Canada and USA meet in the New Year’s Eve game that will decide Group A in the World Junior Championship.

Even though Hockey Canada has expressed confidence in both Comrie and Zach Fucale, it seemed Fucale was the frontrunner for the No. 1 job, given that the Montreal Canadiens prospect played for last year’s team and was the starter in two of Canada’s first three games, allowing only one goal on 40 shots. Comrie, meanwhile, stopped all 17 shots he faced in Canada’s 4-0 win over Germany.

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Comrie, the 59th overall selection of the Winnipeg Jets in 2013, has been a standout for Tri-City this season. He is the younger half-brother of former NHLer Mike Comrie. Another older half-brother, Paul, played 15 games for the Edmonton Oilers and Comrie’s younger brother, Ty, is a 17-year-old center for the Tri-City Americans.

More to follow.