The U.S. National Under-18 Team has played at a very high level and only allowed two goals in three games so far at the International Ice Hockey Federation Under-18 Women’s World Championship this week. An overall team effort has helped Team USA get off to a 2-0-1-0 (W-OTW-OTL-L) start in the preliminary round and the goaltending has been an integral part so far.
The tandem of Alex Gulstene and Lindsay Reed have complimented each other nicely and given head coach Joel Johnson great confidence in the position.
“We’re fortunate to have two great goaltenders to work with at this event. They have both been tremendous.” Said Johnson. “They lift each other up and support each other and give our team the confidence to compete hard and know that if there is a breakdown, they will be there to make a big play.”
Gulstene is the veteran of the two, appearing in her second U18 worlds here in the Czech Republic, while Reed is making her debut with the under-18 national team. Both netminders have also participated with the U.S. National Select Team, most recently at the Under-18 Series against Canada this past August.
“As we prepare for the semifinal game against Russia tomorrow, it’s extremely important to know that we have the strength of those two behind us as we make our final push over the next two games,” added Johnson.
Gulstene, who has played the first (Russia) and third (Canada) games of the tournament, helped the U.S. win the gold medal at last year’s event in a thrilling 3-2 overtime victory over Canada.
In a rematch with Canada on Tuesday, she stopped 29 shots and held strong for three periods and into overtime without allowing a goal before one got by her. Overall, she has only allowed two goals in two games and has a 0.98 goals against average and a .956 save percentage.
“Alex plays with a lot of passion and brings an edge to the position," said Johnson. "She has provided that veteran presence in her role."
Reed, who is the taller goaltender of the two, has proven herself as a calming effect on the group and provided timely saves and big stops when needed.
Johnson noted that "Lindsay is a big goaltender who plays a very efficient style in net and made some key saves and shut the door completely on Sweden to earn the shutout in her appearance at this tournament."
Whoever plays for Team USA moving forward at the U18 worlds, Team USA knows it will get the assistance it needs to compete and continue to defend its title as the reigning gold medal winner.".
“They both worked hard during our pre-camp and have matched that intensity throughout our time here in the Czech Republic. They are focused on the task a hand and working closely with our goaltending coach, Molly Schaus. If they continue to do what they have been doing, they will give us a great chance to succeed.”