With his Division III-best 1.36 goals-against average and .948 save percentage, Portland native Nick Broadwater is already having a senior hockey season to remember.
But the Hobart College goalie has his sights set even higher — for this season and beyond.
The first goal is to help get the Statesmen back in the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2009. After that the former Portland Junior Pirate (and Deering High grad) is hoping to continue his career in the professional ranks, possibly in Europe.
The Hobart team just returned from a five-game exhibition tour of Switzerland, Germany and Italy.
“I would love to play over there. I loved it over there and the benefits (in Europe), housing and salary, are a lot better than the minor leagues get over here,” Broadwater said. “I’d like to play as long as I can.”
Hobart Coach Mark Taylor, a former Division I assistant at UMass-Lowell and Cornell, believes in Broadwater.
“I’ve had guys both from Division I and Division III level, and I have no question that he can play in the minors in the states, in the CHL or the ECHL,” Taylor said. “With goaltenders, so much of it is somebody has to look at him and say, ‘that’s my guy.’ And, the same thing in Europe. He’s capable of playing over there.”
Hobart is ranked No. 3 in both the USCHO.com and D3hockey.com polls, the highest spot ever for the Statesmen. With an 11-1-2 record, Hobart is in position to break the school record for wins and winning percentage set in 2008-09 (21-7-2) when it went to the NCAA semifinals.
“We had a great start to the season and we played well in Europe,” Broadwater said. “But the second half of the season will be huge, all league play.”
Hobart plays in the ECAC West, which does not receive an automatic bid. Last season the Statesmen went 16-10-1 and won the ECAC West tournament, with Broadwater coming back from an ankle injury to win tourney MVP honors, but were not invited to the tourney.
“We won five straight, won the championship, were nationally ranked and playing probably our best hockey of the year and then it was over like that,” Broadwater said. “A lot of guys were pretty bitter about that and came back really strong this season.”
Broadwater has been Hobart’s starting goalie since he arrived at the Geneva, N.Y., campus. As a freshman he went 10-8-2 with a .925 save percentage and 2.41 goals-against average, and was named ECAC West rookie of the year. He followed that with a 14-8-2, .926, 2.45 GAA during his sophomore season.
Prior to college, Broadwater played for the Portland Junior Pirates. After high school, Broadwater joined the Boston Junior Bruins. The plan was to play a lot and earn a Division I scholarship. Instead he was slowed by injuries. He visited several campuses, including Maine, Northeastern, Providence and Union, but no scholarships were offered.
“With me getting hurt they wanted me to play another year of juniors and I was ready to go to school. And I wanted to play. I wanted to be a starter right away,” Broadwater said.
“We had lost an All-American in Keith Longo,” Taylor said. “In my mind I see Nick in that same class for sure. He broke Keith’s shutout record. He’s done a great job, on the ice, off the ice and in the classroom.”
In the recent season-opening meet at Southern Maine, Wheaton College freshmen Emily Rand of Falmouth and Amanda Peterson of Gray-New Gloucester were part of the second-place 1,600-meter relay team. Wheaton’s A team finished first. Rand was also seventh in the 200-meter dash.
In the men’s meet, Wheaton senior Sam Fear of Bath (North Yarmouth Academy) placed second in the high jump, clearing 6 feet and a quarter-inch. Freshman Sam Miklovich of Gray-New Gloucester was fifth in the 600-meter run.
The trio of local products got back on the court for the Bentley University men’s basketball team. Sophomore Andrew Shaw of Saco (Thornton Academy) scored a career-best 23 points in a 78-69 loss to St. Anselm College. Shaw has scored 59 points in the past three games coming off the Falcons’ bench. Freshman forward Tyler McFarland of Rockport (Camden Hills) had his fourth double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds, and continues to lead the team in scoring (14.5), rebounding (8.2) and blocks (1.6). Alex Furness of Wells had four points.
Diana Manduca of Portland (Deering) continued her strong play for Colby College with 12 points and six rebounds in Saturday’s 44-41 win over Hamilton in the Mules’ NESCAC opener. Manduca, a senior guard, leads Colby (6-6) in scoring (13.9), assists (2.7) and 3-pointers (31).
Bates sophomore Andrew Briggs of York won a pair of races in a dual meet at Middlebury College on Sunday. Briggs won the 100 breast stroke by .03 seconds and came back to win the 200 breast by .47 seconds, edging Middlebury’s Stephan Koenigsberger in both races.
• Bentley University freshman Nicola Mancini of Falmouth continued to excel in diving. In her first event back after the holidays, Mancini set the school and home pool record in the 1-meter competition with a score of 289.50. The previous pool and school record of 285.95 had held up for 11 years. She was named the Northeast-10 women’s diver and rookie of the week, earning both for a second time.
In the same meet against Plymouth State College, Bentley freshman Michelle Giordano of Alfred (Cheverus) won the 1,000 freestyle.
Staff Writer Steve Craig can be contacted at 791-6413 or at: