Goaltender Annelies Bergmann to become first female player to compete in the NAHL
The Janesville Jets announced that Bergmann will start in goal on Friday, April 7, in a game against the Springfield Jr. Blues
JANESVILLE, Wis. — The Janesville Jets of the North American Hockey League have announced that goaltender Annelies Bergmann will be starting in goal for the team on April 7 in a match against the Springfield Jr. Blues.
Why is that a big deal? Well, it's because Bergmann will become the first female player to compete in the NAHL.
The native of Detroit currently skates for the Oakland Jr. Grizzlies 18U AAA squad (a boys team), and has been the starting netminder for U18 Team USA in 2022 and 2023. She led the Americans to both a silver and bronze medal while posting a .934 save percentage and a 1.51 goals-against-average in the international tournament in June. She is committed to play at the Division I level for Cornell in the future.
The 17-year-old stands at 6 feet tall and has earned a .944 save percentage this season with the Grizzlies alongside a 16-9 overall record. She originally participated in the Janesville Jets main camp this past summer and worked all the way up to the All-Star Game. She has been an affiliate player since then.
Oakland Grizzlies 18U goaltender & Team USA U18 Bronze Medalist Annelies Bergmann will start for the Jets next Friday, marking the Jets as the first Tier I or Tier II junior hockey franchise in the US to play a female athlete. Read more in our release ⬇️ https://t.co/Hlk8SHfohc pic.twitter.com/H1MEXYC36r— Janesville Jets (@JanesvilleJets1) March 28, 2023
In a press release on the Jets website , team president Bill McCoshen said that "a core mission of the Jets is giving elite hockey players an opportunity to develop and advance to the highest level if they earn it. Annelies Bergmann is a rising star in USA Hockey, and we believe she earned this unique opportunity."
Head coach and general manager Joe Dibble also had great things to say about the netminder in the same press release. "We were all very impressed with Annelies' performance when she came here for main camp last year, and this is a direct result of the work she's put in. She played through a tough goaltenders camp and showed great potential, and continued on to perform in our All Star Game at camp against some high talent. Annelies has worked extremely hard to get to this point in her young career, and she's absolutely earned this opportunity. We're all greatly excited to see her suit up and skate wearing the Jets logo."
The game will take place on April 7 at Janesville Ice Arena. Girls 18 and under will get in to the game for $5 and the match will also feature an end of season tailgate with festivities starting at 5:30 p.m. CT.