Boston Bruins goaltender Jeremy Swayman on Saturday night extended his streak of NHL games unbeaten in regulation to a career high-tying 10 games, but he did so in just about the most emotionally painful way possible.
Florida’s Aleksander Barkov scored the game-tying, extra-attacker strike with just three ticks left in regulation and Sam Reinhart delivered the dagger just 17 seconds into extra time to hand Swayman and company a 4-3 OT loss.
Even so, Swayman, who stopped 33 shots, pushed his point streak to 10 games (7-0-3). He has generated a 1.98 goals-against average and .932 save percentage in that span. The 10-game point streak matches his 10-game-streak (9-0-1) last season.
Swayman’s two stretches of 10 games without a regulation loss rank one shy of the most in the NHL by an Alaskan goalie. Ty Conklin in the 2007-08 season reeled off an 11-game (10-0-1) string of games unbeaten in regulation for the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Swayman, who lost his five-game winning streak, for the season is 12-3-4, 2.34, .914.
Speaking of psychic pain, no Alaskan who wears a mask can relate more lately than Isaiah Saville of Anchorage. The rookie for the ECHL’s Savannah Ghost Pirates is enduring a 15-game winless streak (0-12-3).
Saville has suffered some shaky starts in that span – four times he has surrendered six goals. But he’s also delivered gems – seven starts in which he has posted a save percentage of .923 or higher – that went for naught. Saturday was another of the latter – Saville stopped 33 of 35 shots, but Savannah fell 3-1 at Greenville to drop to 12-22-7 and 26th among 28 teams. That dropped Saville to 4-15-5 but lowered his goals-against average to 3.23 and raised his save percentage to .917. His save percentage ranks ninth on the circuit among 40 qualified goalies.
Saville isn’t getting much goal support. Hannah Hogenson of Anchorage understands. The Bemidji State junior put in another strong effort Saturday with 25 saves on 27 shots, but the Beavers fell 2-1 at No. 15 St. Cloud State in women’s NCAA Division I action. That came after she also stopped 25 of 27 Friday, and did not surrender an even-strength goal, in a 2-0 loss at St. Cloud State.
A couple of Alaska men in Division III suffered OT losses Saturday. Hamline’s Kevin Lake of Anchorage made 26 saves in a 4-3 loss to St. Scholastica and Bethel’s Austin Ryman of Fairbanks made 26 saves in a 3-2 loss at St. Mary’s.
In women’s Division III, junior McKinley Hoff enjoyed a light night – 8 saves – to post her fifth shutout this season in No. 12 Nazareth’s 3-0 win at Manhattanville. Hoff owns 12 career shutouts, including a career-high six last season.
Still, Saturday was a tough night for most Alaska goalies playing at high levels of hockey. Raythan Robbins of Anchorage knows. One night after posting 31 saves for the Muskegon Lumberjacks of the U.S. Hockey League in a 5-2 win at Cedar Rapids, Robbins on Saturday gave up six goals on 32 shots in a 7-1 loss at Cedar Rapids.