Jennifer Harss in net
Jennifer Harss
Jennifer Harss in net


Jennifer Harss

Goaltender Jennifer Harss is blogging for WINIH during the 2013 World championship.

Game Day April 3, 2013 Preliminary Round

Today we played against Sweden and since we already lost against Russia we needed a win. This time we had the late game, which means we skated in the morning for half an hour. I prefer to have a later game and have a pre-game skate instead of going for a jog in the morning. After lunch and a pre-game nap we headed to the rink for our normal warm up.

The game started off really good. Susi Goetz scored on a power play and only a few minutes later Sara Seiler scored on a breakaway to make it a 2-0 lead. We had a lot of respect for Sweden throughout the game and we know that they are a really good team even though they are missing some key players. Unfortunately they got momentum back late in the first period to make it a 2-1 game.

The second period was scoreless. Going into the third our coaches told us that the three points are right in front of us, but in order to grab it we need to finish strong, keep skating and win one on one battles. However, Sweden came out strong in the last period and put a lot of pressure on us. We had a hard time getting out of our zone and could hardly create any offensive chances.

Half way through the third period Sweden tied the game 2-2. Of course, it never is a good feeling getting scored on, however at this point of the game nothing was over yet. No scoring happened in the last ten minutes, so we headed to overtime. Not even one minute played my former teammate at University of Minnesota Duluth, Pernilla Winberg scored the game winning goal. It was a bit of a lucky bounce, because it went of my defenseman's helmet into the net. Always tough to lose like that.

After the game the coaches didn't have much to say other than keep your heads up and prepare for the next game, because technically we can still make it to the quarterfinals.

Final Score:  Germany 2 Sweden 3 Overtime

Germany 0 Russia 4 in their first game at the world championship. April 2, 2013.

After one week of pre camp at the University of Carleton and two exhibition games the team is excited to finally start the tournament.

We started off Tuesday morning with a jog to wake up and get ready for the game. After a good pre game meal -a combination of breakfast and lunch since we play at noon, we headed to the rink.

When we arrived at the rink we did our normal pre game routine (taping sticks, getting our equipment ready and a nice off ice warm-up). Of course, coming from Germany, soccer is a part of the warm up. Traditionally we stand in a circle and play two touch soccer. After the rest of our off ice warm up, we put on our equipment while listened to our team song.

Coming to the game we knew that Russia was a really good team and that they have improved a lot over the last few years. Even though we didn’t win the game, there were also some things we did well. We stuck to our game plan and listened to our coaches and tried to play disciplined. In order to be successful for the rest of the tournament we need to get the puck out of the zone quicker and create more offensive chances.

In between the periods our coaches told us to switch our fore-check and adjust to the Russian play.

The Russian team came out strong, especially in the first period. They fore-checked hard. I think in every big tournament nerves are part of the game.

After the game the coaches and the team said that “losing sucks” but that we have to move on and prepare for the next game tomorrow.

The rest of the day we are going to hang out at the hotel, rest and get ready for tomorrow’s game against Sweden. Of course were trying to watch Canada vs. USA on TV.

Jennifer Harss sent these answers April 2012 before the world championship.

EE: Was it a big adjustment leaving high school hockey ?
JH: The college is definitely different to where I played before and it took me some time to adjust to it. However, the NCAA is a really good and competitive league and it was a lot of fun to play there.

EE: Why did you chose UMD?
JH: I chose UMD, because they have a great women´s hockey program including the coaching staff, facility and school. I´ve heard only positive things about it. I saw it as a great opportunity for my hockey career and my school education. When I went there for a visit I liked everything right away. The coaches, teammates and city were very nice, so that it was not a hard decision for me at all.

EE: How does your current school compare to your country's league?
JH:I think the college league is a lot better than the women´s league in Germany. The main difference is the depth and number of the teams. As already mentioned above college hockey is very competitive and professional. In Germany we do not have as many players and our teams do not have that much money available. Money is probably the biggest factor. We do not have the money to pay league coaches, athletic trainer, etc. and that on the other hand means that our whole daily routine is not as professional as in college hockey including ice practice, workouts, meetings, video...

EE: What was your biggest challenge first year in league?
JH: Biggest challenge for me was to adjust to the game and how aggressively players battled in front of my net. Players do not give up to battle until the officials blew the whistle. I was not really used to getting run every once in a while.

EE: You are a senior now; would you talk about highlights of the 4 years?
JH: The highlight of my college career definitely was winning a national championship in 2010. That´s something I will never forget. It was a great experience!

EE: What is difference between the college game and your national team game?
JH: I don´t think my game really changes. As a goalie you always have the same job, keep the puck out of the net. However, there is a difference between the team I have in front of me. When playing for UMD you can tell that we are practicing and playing together every day; whereas for the national team we only get together every once in a while for tournaments and camps. The tactical level in college hockey is very high and we were able to play many different systems or face-offs, but for Team Germany we are trying to keep it simple, because we don´t play together as often.

EE: Are you training any differently?
JH:I am not training any differently. The only difference is practicing. During the season I obviously practiced with my team, but after we were done I kind of had to practice on my own. Luckily I had some other national team players like Pernilla Winberg, Haley Irwin and Tea Villilä on my team who also had to prepare for Worlds. We skated and worked out together.

EE: Injuries during your career and now?
JH: I had a lot of injuries throughout my career. Too many to list here but luckily I am healthy right now.
EE: How would you describe your style of play?
JH: I would describe my style as butterfly goalie. I think I have an advantage because I am taller than other female goalie that sometimes makes it easier for me.

EE: Is it rougher out there now? Tougher, stronger players in this league?
JH: I think the college leagues as well as all the national teams have many great players. You can tell that women´s hockey is growing and becoming more and more popular not only in countries like the US or Canada. I just watched a video from world championship in 2005 and it was crazy to see how different it was. Overall, the goaltending has improved a lot. The style but also the equipment is so much better now. It is going to be interesting what it looks like in 10 years from now.

EE: Are you getting enough competition?
JH: I think I am definitely getting enough competition. No matter what team, UMD or the national team, there are always a lot of great goalies. But I think competition is also very important because it can help you to improve your game. You can learn from other goalies and you always have to give 100% which in turn will help you get better as well.

EE: What is your approach if you lose a big game? How do deal with that?
JH: Obviously I am really upset about it, but you can only learn from a loss and move on.

EE: What do you look for in a coach?
JH: I think it is really important that a coach can motivate you and also push you to your limit. It´s also important that you have a good relationship with your coach. You need to be able to talk to him/her. I like when my coach is honest and open so that you know where you´re at.

EE: What will you do next year (2012-13) re hockey and work or school?
JH: That´s a really good question I am trying to figure out right now. I wish I could play in college forever :-)