Swedish goalie Victor Ostman, who has the fourth-best goals-against average in the United States Hockey League this season, has verbally committed to attend the University of Maine.
The 6-foot-3, 205-pound Ostman has a 24-4 record for the league-leading Chicago Steel with a 2.35 GAA and a .912 save percentage. He has two shutouts and has been named the league’s Goalie of the Week twice.
The native of Danderyd, Sweden, who will be a scholarship player, said it was a tough decision because he had some other Division I offers.
“At the end of the day, I’m really happy with my decision to attend Maine. I’m really excited to go there,” Ostman said.
He said there were several reasons for choosing UMaine.
“The coaches really believed in me from the beginning. They were the first ones to talk to me,” he said. “When I visited Maine, all the people were really friendly.
“It seemed like a cool place. I really liked it,” he added.
Steel head coach Brock Sheahan said Ostman is one of the best goalies in the USHL.
“He’s big and athletic and is always adding pieces to his game,” Sheahan said. “He takes a professional approach to the way he works so he continues to get better. He is motivated to play at the highest level. He is also an unbelievable kid with a great personality. He is a great teammate.”
UMaine All-Hockey East goalie Jeremy Swayman, a fourth-round draft choice of the Boston Bruins, is a junior, but he could sign with the Bruins after the season and pass up his senior year. Stephen Mundinger is a senior who is redshirting this season and could return to UMaine next season or could transfer as a graduate student and play right away at another school.
Matthew Thiessen is a freshman, and the Black Bears have another goalie who has verbally committed in Connor Androlewicz, who is playing for the Lincoln Stars in the USHL.
If Swayman leaves, the job would be wide open.
The 19-year-old Ostman, who is in his first season in the USHL, said Steel assistant coach and former UMaine defenseman Matt Deschamps helped him make his decision.
“He loved it at Maine. It was nice to talk to someone who has experienced everything there,” Ostman said.
Ostman is enjoying his year in the USHL and said he has benefitted from having a top-notch goalie coach in Mike Garman and an exceptional team around him. The team is a league-best 39-7 with one overtime loss.
He said he is a butterfly-style goalie who wants to work on his skating because the college game is faster.
“I want to be more efficient in my movement,” he said.
Ostman’s playing at UMaine is contingent upon him being accepted into school and meeting NCAA eligibility requirements.