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Callan Sheridan | | December 11, 2018

Women's hockey: 7 goaltenders to watch this season

St. Anselm goaltender Maddie Scavotto makes a stop in a game against Holy Cross last season.

Women’s college hockey is underway, and as much as we love to analyze defensive pairings and look at scoring stats, it’s crucial for teams to prepare for the opponent in the crease. The goalie. 

Reflecting on last season’s save percentage statistics, here are the top five goalies returning to make their mark on the 2018-2019 season. 

Michaela Kane St. Anselm

Kane tops our list as the highest ranked returning goaltender. She finished last season with an impressive .945 save percentage, making 205 saves in 11 appearances as a sophomore. The Haverhill, Massachusetts native went 8-2-1 in the 2017-2018 season, with a 1.09 goals-against average. She led NEWHA in save percentage and was second in both goals-against average and winning percentage (.773), never allowing more than two goals in any of her starts. Sharing goaltender duties with teammate Maddie Scavotto (see below), Kane put up impressive stats as a young goalie after just one freshman start. Look for her to continue to improve through her junior campaign. 

Maddie Scavotto St. Anselm

The other half of St. Anselm’s tending duo, Scavotto ranks in just below her fellow Hawk with a .942 save percentage in the 2017-2018 season. Now a senior, Scavotto is the more experienced goalie on St. Anselm’s roster, starting in 15 appearances throughout her junior season. The East Falmouth, Massachusetts, native totaled 243 saves throughout the season, with a season and career-high 30 save win against Connecticut College. Scavotto ranks fifth in St. Anselm’s career save percentage record, as well as fifth in shutouts and second in goals-against average. This could be a breakout year for Scavotto, as she leads the Hawks through a more intense schedule as part of the newly formed New England Women's Hockey Alliance (NEWHA) in the hopes of a postseason bid.

ALSO: Scores | Stats | Rankings

Kristen Campbell Wisconsin

Topping the ranks of a slew of WCHA goalies is Campbell, who finished out last season with a .939 save percentage. The redshirt junior appeared in all 38 games for Wisconsin, garnering a 31-5-2 record with the Badgers. Campbell transferred from North Dakota after the 2016-2017 season, and the move paid dividends as she led the team to a runner-up finish in the WCHA playoff championships and an appearance in the Frozen Four. The Brandon, Manitoba, native was named WCHA Goaltender of the Year and was named a top-10 finalist for the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award. Wisconsin has made five-straight NCAA Women's Frozen Four appearances, and after graduating only three seniors last season, Campbell has a real shot of helping the Badgers to a sixth-straight NCAA tournament appearance — and possible championship.

Kassidy Sauve — Clarkson

Sauve joins Clarkson’s Golden Knights after an historic career with Ohio State. She finished last season with a .938 save percentage, backstopping the Buckeyes to the Women's Frozen Four with a 19-9-4 season record and 10 shutouts. Sauve made 33 saves against Clarkson in the 2018 NCAA semifinals, before falling 1-0 in overtime. During her time at Ohio State, Sauve set the career mark in shutouts with 22 in 88 games, and last season the lefty goalie was second in the nation with 920 saves. The Whitby, Ontario, native had a redshirt sophomore season recovering from an injury.  She joins Clarkson as a graduate student. Sauve is one of the best goaltenders in college hockey, and combining those skills with Clarkson’s winning legacy could lead to an NCAA championship three-peat.

Janine Adler St. Cloud State

Adler finished last year’s sophomore season with a .935 save percentage — a single-season program record at St. Cloud State — and ranked No. 2 overall in the WCHA. Adler stopped a season best 53 shots in a game against Wisconsin and led the Huskies to an unbeaten weekend against UMD. The Zurich, Switzerland, native only appeared in 14 games last season, as she was named to the Swiss women's hockey Olympic roster for the 2018 Winter Games in PyeongChang, where she recorded a 19-save shutout against Korea. Adler had 29 starts in her rookie season, posting a .926 save percentage for the season along with being named a WCHA Rookie of the Week twice and named to the Swiss roster for the 2017 IIHF Women’s World Championships. St. Cloud State has struggled to post a winning record in the past few seasons, but watch for Adler to come into her own this season and record more great stats.

What’s a new season without some young bloods? We checked out some early-season statistics and found two more goaltenders that caught our eye.

Andrea Braendli Ohio State

The Swiss must know how to develop great goaltenders, because Braendli joins Adler as a Zurich, Switzerland, native and member of the Swiss National Team in the 2018 Olympics. The freshman joins Ohio State as the Buckeyes look to replace star goalie Sauve. Braendli has split duties so far this season with Amanda Zeglen, but as of Oct. 13, Braendli boasted 1.64 goals-against average, .946 save percentage and a 2-1-0 record. The goalie was awarded the WCHA Rookie of the Week award for this past week, where she stopped 55-of-56 shots she faced in a shutout against Minnesota State and a 33-save, 2-1 OT win the next night.

Abigail Levy Minnesota State

Although her team ended the weekend on the wrong side of the score sheet against Ohio State last weekend, Levy earned WCHA Goaltender of the Week status for her performance. The Congers, New York, native made 84-of-90 saves in the weekend with 42 saves each game. On the season, Levy has a .947 save percentage so far, which ranks her top in the WCHA and ninth in all NCAA women’s hockey. It should be noted, though, that of the goalies ranked above her in save percentage, only two have played more than 67 percent of their team's total minutes in net and Levy has played 100% so far this season. At writing, she’s amassed 126 saves and has yet to give up a power-play goal on nine opportunities this season. 

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Callan Sheridan is a graduate of Saint Peter's University and has produced content for The Press Enterprise, the American Junior Golf Association and the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. Follow her on twitter at @calsh_13.