Germany's Abstreiter Passes a Big Test

Abstreiter stood tall in her big test and nearly shocked the Czechs and the rest of the hockey world.

Germany's Abstreiter Passes a Big Test
Source: IIHF

Through her first 180 minutes of play at the 2024 World Championship, Team Germany's Sandra Abstreiter allowed just one goal at even strength and earned three of Germany's four wins in a perfect 4-0-0 performance in the group stage. It was the breakout performance Germans were hoping to see from Abstreiter. Before Utica, it was clear that Abstreiter was special from her play at Providence College and the show she put on at the 2023 Worlds.

Now it looks like she can be Germany's next Jennifer Harß.

As impressive as Abstreiter's performances against Denmark, Japan, and Sweden were, those were wins against Group B teams. On Thursday, she faced the most important test of her national team career – a quarterfinal showdown against the rising power that is Czechia's national team. She passed with flying colors.

Abstreiter and Germany lost 1-0 to the Czechs yesterday, but she rose to the occasion with 23 stops on 24 shots from Czechia – three of which came from the red-hot Natálie Mlýnková. Her skaters just couldn't score in a big game, which is something we identified as a big test for this team in our preview of Germany, but their goalie gave them a golden opportunity to shock the Czechs.

Having a player who is capable of creating that opportunity is something for fans of German hockey to celebrate. It's also something this program has been waiting for: a new star to build around and garner attention and the potential resources that will come with it. Every European national team has had popular stars that helped build and advance their respective programs, but Germany has not had a truly transcendent talent. They have needed one since the 1998 Olympics.

Through four appearances in Utica, Abstreiter's stats are outrageous. One could say they are the stuff of a superstar. She has allowed just one goal on the power play, two goals at even strength, and is sitting on .969 Sv% in just shy of 240 minutes of World Championship hockey.

So, what comes next? Of course, we're anticipating an encore in the placement stage. Last year, Germany unraveled in front of FInland. A strong finish in Utica could do wonders for the team's confidence and foreshadow what comes next for a team with nine players over the age of 26 and no players older than 30. There's potential here for something special, regardless of what the outcome of Germany's next game is.

With Abstreiter between the pipes, Germany's next chapter is more likely to be promotion to Group A than relegation to Group B. There is a young core of talented skaters on this German roster, and the team's towering goalie herself is just 25 years old. Abstreiter has a lot of hockey ahead of her, and that should open windows of opportunity for Germany to pull off an upset like the one we nearly saw in the quarterfinals against Czechia.

Data courtesy and