By Vishakha Deshpande
Boston University News Service
The BU Terriers saw a familiar face on the ice at the Beijing Winter Olympics as sophomore goaltender Drew Commesso donned the blues and whites of Team USA for what would be an 8-0 thrashing of the Chinese team.
“Our goal is to win a gold medal. We want to keep improving, game in and game out, not letting the score dictate how we play,” head coach and former Terrier coach David Quinn said in an interview with USA Today. “I thought the third period was probably the strongest of the [China] game.”
As a starter for the game, Commesso denied the Chinese team a chance to score their first goal of the match in the third period of the power play.
Commesso heard from USA Hockey on Jan. 6 about his selection to the team going to Beijing for the Olympics. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Commesso immediately called his parents but did not share the news with anyone else.
“We had two big games the following days, so I didn’t really want anyone in the [BU] organization to know because I didn’t want it to be a distraction,” he said in an interview with the Sun-Times.
The 19-year-old was skeptical about his chances of securing a ride to Beijing after the World Junior Championships were called off due to rising COVID-19 cases. His inclusion into the Olympic team was a huge relief to him as well as his mother, who reportedly “started crying” after hearing the news.
Commesso’s performance in his last 10 games before he left for the Olympics earned him two consecutive Hockey East Goaltender of the Month awards. The Chicago Blackhawks’ 2020 second-round pick was 8-1-1 with a save percentage of .945 in those match-ups.
Commesso was not the only Terrier present at the National Indoor Stadium in Beijing. Alums — David Warsofsky, defenseman for Team USA, and Brandon Yip, captain of the Chinese team — also made Terrier nation proud as they played against each other in their tip-off game Thursday morning.
This year marks the 15th straight appearance of a Boston University player on the ice rink at the Olympics.
The puck for the United States vs. Canada game drops on Saturday at 11:10 p.m. EST.