Jeremy Swayman

The world championships debut of goaltender Jeremy Swayman went about as well as these things can.

The 23-year-old from Anchorage pitched a shutout in his first appearance on a USA Hockey senior national team.

Swayman stopped 17 shots Thursday for Team USA in a 3-0 preliminary-round win over Great Britain at the International Ice Hockey Federation’s World Championship in Tampere, Sweden.

Swayman, who just closed a strong rookie season with the NHL’s Boston Bruins by becoming the first Alaska goalie to start a Stanley Cup playoff game, withstood four first-period power plays by the Brits to cruise in a game in which the Americans (3-1-0) outshot Great Britain (0-3-1), 38-17.

The game was scoreless until Team USA’s Ben Meyers scored eight minutes into the second period. Kieffer Bellows added two power-play goals in the third period to secure victory.

Swayman started the last five games in Boston’s first-round loss to Carolina over seven games and became the first NHL goalie from Alaska to start a Stanley Cup playoff game. In the regular season, he went 23-14-3, with a 2.41 goals-against average, .914 save percentage and three shutouts.

Team USA next plays Saturday against Sweden.

Great Britain featured a former Anchorage Aces forward in Ben Lake, who played that franchise’s last two seasons (2015-17). Lake on Thursday played a whopping 22 minutes, 32 seconds, the most on his team and trailing only American defenseman Seth Jones (25:26).

Thursday marked the second time Swayman has represented the U.S. in international play. As a freshman at Maine, he was the No. 3 goalie for Team USA at the IIIHF’s World Junior Championships in Buffalo, where he and his mates took the bronze medal with a 9-3 win over the Czech Republic. In his only tournament appearance, he played the final three minutes of that game.

Guess who scored two goals for the Americans in that game? Dude named Kieffer Bellows.

Jeremy Swayman eyes the puck. Photo by USA Hockey

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