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On Campus: Swayman staying busy for Maine

Junior goalie, Hobey Baker nominee, leads NCAA in saves, shots against

by Mark Divver / Independent Correspondent

No goalie in college hockey has seen more shots (1,089) or made more saves (1,021) this season than Jeremy Swayman from the University of Maine, and it's not close.

Swayman, a 21-year-old junior, has made 113 more saves and faced 101 more shots than the next-busiest goalie, Evan Debrouwer of Arizona State. He is third in the NCAA with a .938 save percentage, trailing Dryden McKay (.942) of Minnesota State, who has faced 705 shots, and Frank Marotte (.940) of Clarkson, who has seen 897.

Most impressive is how Swayman has helped Maine (11-8-3) to third place in Hockey East, three points behind first-place Boston College (14-6-0), heading into the final two weekends of the season. Maine was picked to finish eighth in the 11-team league in the preseason coaches' poll. 

A native of Anchorage, Alaska, Swayman (6-foot-3, 200 pounds) is a nominee for the Hobey Baker Award given to college hockey's best player and on the watch list for the Mike Richter Award that goes to the top goalie. He was selected by the Boston Bruins in the fourth round (No. 111) of the 2017 NHL Draft after one season with Sioux Falls of the United States Hockey League.

Bruins goalie development coach Mike Dunham said Swayman has gotten better at reading plays during his three seasons at Maine. 

"At [6-3], with good skating and good positioning, he covers a lot of the net," said Dunham, a former goalie who won an NCAA championship at Maine in 1993 and played for five teams in his 10-season NHL career. "He's usually square to shooters. He makes the saves he's expected to make and then he's in position to make those saves that leave you with your mouth open sometimes.

"The great thing about Jeremy is he's a competitive kid. He approaches every game expecting to win and give his team a chance to win. As a goaltender, that's really all you can do."

The heavy workload Swayman is handling at Maine has been good for his development.

"He's seen a lot of situations and he's been able to handle those situations," Dunham said. "He's been able to handle barrages and bounce back. Whether you give up six or seven goals, bounce back the next weekend and get right back out there and expect to win. That's a great mentality to have when you step onto the pro level."

After Maine's season is over, Swayman is a strong candidate to pass up his senior year and sign an NHL contract with the Bruins.


Burgess makes history

Todd Burgess became the first Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) player in 20 years to score four goals in a game in a 7-1 win against Princeton on Feb. 22.

The senior forward (6-2, 195) has scored nine goals in his past eight games. He is tied for second in scoring for Rensselaer with 19 points (13 goals, six assists) in 30 games.

The 23-year-old native of Phoenix was picked by the Ottawa Senators in the fourth round (No. 103) of the 2016 NHL Draft. He led the NAHL in scoring in 2015-16 with 95 points (38 goals, 57 assists) for the Fairbanks Ice Dogs.


Turcotte delivers

Alex Turcotte did his part to help Wisconsin sweep Arizona State 7-6 and 6-2 last weekend.

The 19-year-old center (5-11, 185) scored twice and set up a goal in the first game and assisted on two goals in the second.

Turcotte, a freshman, was selected by the Los Angeles Kings with the No. 5 pick in the 2019 NHL Draft. He has 23 points (eight goals, 15 assists) in 25 games and had two assists in five games for the United States at the 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship.


Points for Perunovich

Hobey Baker contender Scott Perunovich of Minnesota Duluth scored one goal and set up another in a 5-3 loss to Western Michigan on Feb. 21.

Perunovich (5-9, 175) was chosen by the St. Louis Blues in the second round (No. 45) of the 2018 NHL Draft. The 21-year-old junior defenseman leads Minnesota Duluth with 35 points, (five goals, 30 assists) in 30 games.


Productive pioneer

Ian Mitchell continues to produce points for the University of Denver. 

The 21-year-old junior defenseman had three points (one goal, two assists) in a 7-1 win against Miami University (Ohio) on Feb. 21, then scored one goal in a 7-0 victory the next night.

Mitchell (5-11, 179) is second on Denver with 27 points (eight goals, 19 assists) in 32 games. He was selected by the Chicago Blackhawks in the second round (No. 57) of the 2017 NHL Draft. 


A winner for Hellickson

Junior defenseman Matt Hellickson scored the game-winning goal for Notre Dame in a 2-1 victory against Michigan on Feb. 21 and had an assist the next night to complete the sweep with a 3-0 win.

Hellickson (6-1, 192) was picked by the New Jersey Devils in the seventh round (No. 214) of the 2017 draft. The 21-year-old has played in all 112 games during his time at Notre Dame. He has 16 points (five goals, 11 assists) in 32 games this season.

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