ORONO, Maine — University of Maine freshman goalie Jeremy Swayman said he was surprised to learn he was one of three goalies on the preliminary roster for the United States team that will play in the International Ice Hockey Federation’s World Junior (Under-20) Championships in Buffalo, N.Y., from Dec. 26 to Jan. 5.
He joins sophomores Jake Oettinger from Boston University and Joseph Woll from Boston College.
Oettinger and Woll were on last year’s gold medal-winning U.S. team but Tyler Parsons played in five of the seven games. Woll played in two games in the preliminary round stage and beat Slovakia 5-2 and Canada 3-1.
“It is an extremely humbling feeling being selected in that group,” said Swayman. “I couldn’t be more honored especially having the opportunity to represent the USA.
“It has been a dream of mine to put on the USA sweater and to have it so close makes me want it more than I ever have,” added Swayman who, if he earns a spot on the final roster, will be the first Black Bear to play for Team USA in the World Junior Championships since Greg Moore in 2004..
Up to this point, Swayman has had the best season of the three with his 2.38 goals-against average and .925 save percentage to go with his 5-3-1 record. Woll is 7-5-2 with a 2.70 GAA and a .905 save percentage while Oettinger is 6-8-1, 2.89, .905).
Swayman, a native of Anchorage, Alaska, and a fourth-round draft pick of the Boston Bruins, has allowed two goals in each of his last seven starts with a .939 save percentage.
The 6-foot-3, 200-pound Swayman said he intends to do whatever he can to win the starting job.
“Being in the top three is a feat in itself. Winning the top job is a whole other chapter,” said Swayman. “I’m going to take it one day at a time and compete as hard as I can to give myself the best chance (to win the job) and to help the others.
“There is an opportunity there and I will do everything I can to achieve it. I know what my strengths are and I will use them the best I can. I will definitely use my mental preparedness for each game. I really want to show them what I can do,” said Swayman.
“It’s awesome for him and for our program,” said UMaine senior defenseman and co-captain Mark Hamilton. “We’re all pretty pumped for him. He has had a great year so far and that obviously hasn’t gone unnoticed by USA Hockey.”
Swayman will attend a pair of training camps before the World Junior Championships. The first one will be at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio on Dec. 15-19 and the second one will be held at the Northwest Arena in Jamestown, New York, from Dec. 20-23.
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