Years from now when the story is told about the 2019-2020 UMaine men's hockey team, it will begin and end with the play of Jeremy Swayman. He deserves to be the Hockey East Player of the Year.
Swayman was a brick wall for much of the season. He racked up 1099 saves, by far the most in the nation. I’d give him an even 1100 total because he also saved Red Gendron’s job.
The fact that Maine should have hosted a Quarterfinal series and had a legit shot at playing in Boston and maybe even the NCAA tournament is not because of the masterful 7 year rebuilding plan by Gendron is finally paying dividends. No way. It was all Sway.
Swayman finished #2 in the nation with a .939 save percentage.
He was #14 with a 2.07 Goals against average, a number inflated artificially a bit by a bad start early in the year.
And I mentioned his 1099 saves. No other D-1 goaltender has more than 1000.
A Coach of the Year needs to have their team playing it’s best hockey down the stretch. With home ice on the line, the Black Bears were 3-2-1 in their final key six games.
They averaged just 2 goals per game in those contests. And that number is ballooned up like Barry bonds head as Maine scored 6 goals in one game versus the hapless Catamounts.
Take out that game and UMaine managed a measley 0.83 goals per game down the crucial stretch.
Offensively they finished #40 out of 60 teams. Red can't recruit scorers nor coach offense.
He gets a Coach of the Year plaque because of Swayman. And don’t even think about a contract extension until you see if this team sniffs 15 wins with a new goaltender.