Being a hockey goaltender means having a thick skin and short memory. For Chicago Blackhawks prospect and Rockford IceHogs netminder Drew Commesso, his routines are designed to keep things as even keeled as possible.
Seems like it’s working well. After surrendering four goals in a loss to the Chicago Wolves a week ago, Commesso responded with an 18-save performance against the Grand Rapids Griffins Saturday night that notched his first professional shutout.
Commesso, who spoke of the preparation he takes to maintain balance, has a maturity beyond his years according to Rockford head coach Anders Sorensen.
“I was impressed with him from day one at camp,” Sorensen said. “This year coming into camp he had a different presence. He was more comfortable, and bigger.”
Comfortable, bigger, and pretty darn good early on.
Commesso’s Calm Demeanor Paces Great Start to Season
“He has a very calm demeanor,” Sorensen explained when asked about his presence. “In the net, on the ice, or off the ice. He seems like he’s always got a smile on his face and he’s ready to work.”
Commesso spoke to that in the summer at development camp.
“For me, it’s just really exciting because I know I can get there,” Commesso said. “I love to put the work in order to do so.”
And work he has. In his first three games, he’s posted a .928 save percentage and picked up a pair of wins. In those two victories, Commesso has 50 saves out of 52 shots, and good for a .962 save percentage.
And that pesky loss to the Wolves? A pair of those goals came when the IceHogs were shorthanded, and a couple of the goals were out of his control–either a missed assignment or being screened with nary a chance to see it.
Not excuses, but of that performance, he didn’t let a “softie” get by. He also didn’t let that loss get the best of him.
Beyond the routines and work he’s put in, it may very well be that calm demeanor that keeps his performance steady.
“I’m really impressed by how calm he is,” Sorensen said. “Even in the intermissions and TV time outs he’s talking to the guys on the bench. That goes a long way [for him]–and with the players as well.”
Three games in, the returns are very exciting for Drew Commesso. He may be smiling even more if it continues as this rate.