There are few legends or long time players left in the game today. On the Canadian side of the hockey world they have Hayley Wickenheiser and Charline Labonte as their legends still playing the game today. Finland has Riikka Valila and the Americans have Julie Chu though no longer on the National Team she’s still in the game today. There’s one last legend who has made her mark on the international stage and in the NCAA. It’s Jesse Vetter.
Jessie Vetter has been the American de facto starter since the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver. It’s incredible to think she’s only 30 years old when it feels as if she should be much older. When you think of Vetter you think of a veteran presence that has provided Team USA with solid goaltending. Every tournament that she participates in she’s able to get in the crease and her teammates will know she will give them a chance to win the game.
Vetter’s legend status started at the University of Wisconsin. It was there that she set a scoreless streak record that was recently broken by Ann-Renee Desbiens. Vetter also recently held the record for Goals Against Average in a season until that too was taken away by Ann-Renee Desbiens. Vetter is currently still 3rd All-Time in the NCAA for SV% in a single season. Vetter isn’t a stranger to winning as she put up 91 wins in her NCAA career.
This has translated to a successful international career. Vetter has enough silver and gold medals for a lifetime. She doesn’t seem like she plans on slowing down soon. Just like Hockey Canada has Charline Labonte, USA Hockey has Jessie Vetter. Nearly every tournament Vetter is available for she’s invited to because Vetter has proven herself to be that trustworthy goalie that management loves.
An example of this type of trustworthiness is the 2015 World Championships. Rigsby was given the nod over Vetter for the Gold Medal Game against Team Canada. After Canada erased a large deficit to tie the game up, Vetter had to go in net to stem the tide of momentum. She only allowed one goal which allowed Team USA to put the game away and win the Gold Medal.
On-ice Jessie Vetter is a unique goalie with a unique style of play. When you watch Vetter play you’ll notice she likes using her 5’ 8” frame to take away the top of the net. It’s this style of play that has led to Vetter adopting an interesting stance where she’ll often tempt the shooter to try and go glove high. Down low Vetter is strong. Vetter is quick into the butterfly and then after she makes the save she transitions back into her stance. This quickness also allows Vetter to move side-to-side in bursts that take away the open net.
Vetter will be remembered fondly by fans of women's hockey and USA hockey fans. She has set the standard for which Rigsby and others will need to reach.