Photo Credit:    GoBlackBears .com

By: Mark Allred   |   Follow On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

Boston Bruins prospect and University of Maine goaltender Jeremy Swayman earned his first Hockey East Playoff win last night with a 26 save effort against cross-border University of New Hampshire Wildcats. The number six seed Black Bears beat number eleven seed Wildcats by the score of 4-1 in front of 3,645 fans at Alfond Arena in Orono, Maine. This is the first time since 2004 that these two teams have faced each other in the postseason and the Bears have a 1-0-2 regular season record against the Cats in the 2017-18 campaign. This is the first time these two clubs have played each other in the opening round with Maine dominating the last four Hockey East Tournaments compiling a record of 5-1-0 over their longtime rival.

Swayman, a 19-year-old Anchorage, Alaska native had an outstanding 2017-18 season for the Black Bears as a freshman after the Boston Bruins selected him in the fourth-round of the 2017 National Hockey League Entry Draft from the United Center in Chicago, Illinois. In 28 games this season the 6′-2″ 187-pound netminder posted a 14-10-3 record, a 2.68 Goals-Against-Average, and .922 save percentage. Before his journey to the state of Maine, Swayman played one full season in the United States Hockey League with the Sioux  Falls Stampede and in 32 games played posted a 7-18-3 record in a league that is structured to get collegiate commits ready for the riggers of NCAA Men’s Ice Hockey.

With his exceptional play early this season, Jeremy earned a spot on the United States U-20 Team at the 2018 World Junior Tournament that was played in Buffalo, New York. Even though Swayman didn’t get much playing time, he said the experience was a positive one that he’ll never forget as he continues to develop his game and earning a Bronze Medal during the games was quite an accomplishment as he represented his country.. You can hear the complete interview I had with the young goaltending prospect in episode 83 of our weekly Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast.

Swayman also credited two former University of Maine alumni goaltenders for his success during his first season of collegiate hockey. First, he mentioned Black Bears Goaltending Coach Alfie Michaud for his knowledge and daily on-ice training regiments to keep the young netminder in shape and ready for game days. Second, is the visits that former NHL goaltender and last summers Boston Bruins hire Mike Dunham as the teams new goaltending development coach who Swayman said has been a big help when he’s able to be around. Coach Dunham has made several trips around North America sharing professional tips with the many Bruins goaltending prospects.

Here are last night’s game one highlights between the Maine Black Bears and the New Hampshire Wildcats from Alfond Arena in Orono, Maine

Game two of this first round battle is tonight and all information to watch and listen can be seen below from the official University of Maine Twitter account.