University of Maine junior goalie Jeremy Swayman has captured the seventh annual Mike Richter Award that goes to the nation’s top goaltender.
Swayman also was one of three Hat Trick finalists for the Hobey Baker Award — presented to the best Division I hockey player in the country — but that honor went to University of Minnesota-Duluth junior defenseman Scott Perunovich.
University of North Dakota junior right wing Jordan Kawaguchi was also a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award which goes to the nation’s top player.
The two awards were announced late Saturday night on ESPN’s SportsCenter along with the Humanitarian Award, which went to left wing Amanda Conger of Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire. She donated her kidney to save the life of a man with advanced kidney disease.
Swayman was one of five finalists for the Richter Award named after the former University of Wisconsin star and longtime New York Rangers goaltender. The others were Cornell University junior Matthew Galadja, Michigan sophomore Strauss Mann, Minnesota State sophomore Dryden McKay and Boston College freshman Spencer Knight.
Swayman had a tremendous season in which he led the nation in saves with 1,099 and had the second-best save percentage at .939. The saves set a school record and his save percentage was second in UMaine history behind Jimmy Howard (2003-2004).
Swayman’s 2.07 goals-against average was 15th best in the country.
He was the Hockey East Player of the Year, a first-team East Division I All-American and the recipient of the Walter Brown Award given to the best American-born college player in New England.
The native of Anchorage, Alaska, recently signed with the NHL’s Boston Bruins, who drafted him in the fourth round in 2017. He held opponents to two goals or fewer in 22 of 34 games including 11 in which he gave up one or less.
He registered three shutouts in his last five games including a 48-save gem in a regular-season ending 1-0 victory over Providence. Swayman made 30 or more saves in a game 25 times.
He was hoping to become just the third goalie in the 40-year history of the Hobey Baker Award to win the award. Minnesota’s Robb Stauber earned the award in 1988 and Michigan State’s Ryan Miller was the recipient in 2001.
UMaine’s previous two Hobey Baker Award winners were wingers Scott Pellerin in 1992 and Paul Kariya the following season.
Swayman led the Black Bears to a fourth-place finish in Hockey East, their best since the 2011-12 team also finished fourth. UMaine, picked to finish eighth in the Hockey East coaches’ preseason poll, wound up 18-11-5 overall, 12-9-3 in Hockey East.
The Black Bears would have hosted No. 5 Connecticut in the Hockey East quarterfinals before the COVID-19 pandemic canceled the season.
Swayman was playing behind one of the nation’s most inexperienced defense corps as UMaine used four freshmen along with four defenseman who averaged 29.5 career games entering the season.
Perunovich was the National Collegiate Hockey Conference Player of the Year, ranking second among the nation’s Division I defenseman in points with 40 on six goals and 34 assists. His 34 assists were second in the country behind Providence right wing Jack Dugan’s 42 assists.
He shared the team lead in plus-minus at plus-18.