The start of Jeremy Swayman‘s second tour in the American Hockey League looked a lot like his first go-round: Dominating
Swayman, the rookie from Anchorage recently demoted from the NHL’s Boston Bruins to the AHL’s Providence Bruins for no other reason, really, than he is waiver-exempt, won both his starts for the Baby Bruins over the weekend. He stopped 19 shots in a 5-1 win over Hartford on Friday and 22 shots in a 6-3 win over Bridgeport on Sunday.
Those victories put him at 2-0-0 with a 2.01 goals-against average and .911 save percentage. He’s kinda crushed the AHL in two seasons — 10-1-0, 1.91, .929.
Swayman, who Boston send down now that stalwart Tuukka Rask is back after offseason hip surgery, of course was not the only Alaskan connection in his games on the weekend — remember, there is almost always an Alaska connection. One of Providence’s assistant coaches, for instance is former UAA hockey bench boss Matt Thomas. And Bridgeport’s head coach, in his ninth season is former Alaska Aces head coach Brent Thompson, who guided that club to the ECHL’s Kelly Cup — the second of three in franchise history — in 2011.
Speaking of AHL goaltending, former NHLer Pheonix Copley of North Pole stopped 24 shots Sunday for Hershey in a 2-1 loss to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. He’s 9-7-2 with a 2.75 and .897.
On the ECHL goaltending front, Anchorage’s Michael Bullion was a hard-luck loser in his pro debut for Norfolk. Bullion stopped 28 of 30 South Carolina shots on Saturday in a 2-1 loss. Bullion turned pro recently after a long college stint for the University of Ontario Institute of Technology and several seasons in the Western Hockey League.
Also in the ECHL, Kansas City goaltender Andrew Shortridge of Anchorage stopped 25 shots in regulation and overtime, then both shootout bids he faced, to backstop a 3-2 win over Allen. Shortridge is only 4-4-0, but rocks 2.24 and .917.
Speaking of Kansas City, defenseman Justin Woods of Fairbanks is back with the Mavericks. The former UAF blueliner has produced six assists in six games.
In college goaltending, Omaha junior Isaiah Saville of Anchorage took a couple of losses to Denver on the weekend – 4-2 and 5-2 with an empty-netter – but still stopped 62 of 70 shots. For the season, he’s 10-7-0, 2.28, .914.
In the ECHL, Kalamazoo forward Tanner Sorenson of Anchorage played his 250th game on that circuit and bagged an assist to celebrate. He scored a goal in another game on the weekend and leads Alaska scorers on that circuit with 11-17–28 totals in 32 games.
On the college front, Eagle River’s Zach Krajnik furnished top-ranked Minnesota State-Mankato an assist Friday to extend his point streak to three games (2-3–5 in that span). The streak was snapped Saturday, but he has delivered a solid 2-5–7 in 15 games this season.