International Ice Hockey Federation

WW Top 25 Stories: #24

WW Top 25 Stories: #24

Zorn a goalie and skater both

Published 12.03.2015 14:33 GMT+1 | Author Andrew Podnieks
WW Top 25 Stories: #24
Germany’s Julia Zorn played internationally both as a goaltender and as a forward. Photo: Andre Ringuette / HHOF-IIHF Images
7 April 2012. In the history of international hockey there has been but one player who has appeared as both a goaltender and a skater: Germany’s Julia Zorn.

The 25-year-old from Grafeling started her international career at the first ever U18 Women’s World Championship, in Calgary in 2008. That year she was a goaltender, playing all five games for Germany and compiling a 3-0-2 record, allowing just 12 goals. The Germans finished a respectable fifth, going home without a medal but knowing they’d remain in the top pool for 2009.

“I started being a goalie at age seven,” Zorn related later. “My coach gave me a goalie stick as a present, so after that I wanted to play goal. I used player skates for the first three years. I didn’t get goalie skates until I was ten.”

But almost as soon as she started playing with the junior national team as a goalie, she was already thinking about tossing aside the pads.

“I always wanted to be a skater,” she continued. “I stickhandled a lot in my free time because it’s fun. My friends and I would play street hockey, and I was always a shooter, not a goalie. Then I had a foot injury, and I couldn’t play goal because the movement was difficult. So my coach suggested that I just start to skate first to get into shape and get back on the ice because he knew I could skate. It was so much fun for me, so I decided to be a skater. This was 2008/09.”

Zorn made the senior national team the very next year, playing in Division I, and in 2011 she helped the team win that event to qualify for the top pool in Burlington, Vermont for 2012.

When she stepped on the ice as a forward in her first game, on 7th April 2012, against Switzerland, she made IIHF history. And late in the second period, she scored the game-winning goal in a 3-2 win.

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Even though she was still learning how to play forward, her four goals in 2012 was top on the team and among the tournament leaders. In 2013, the Germans finished fifth, and at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Zorn managed to score once, the former goalie now an Olympic scorer.

“I would always choose being a skater,” she admitted. “It’s more fun, maybe because of the way it is in the German league for women. When I was a goalie, my team was strong, so sometimes we would win games 16-0, and I was just standing in goal for an hour doing nothing.”

Barring unforeseen circumstances, Zorn will be back with Germany when it travels to Malmo for the 2015 Women’s Worlds, her career as a skater firmly entrenched, but her history as a goaltender something made for the record books.


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