January 7, 2020

Buckeye Commit, Amanda Thiele Wins Gold at IIHF U18 World Championships

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State women’s ice hockey commit, Amanda Thiele won gold at the 2020 Under-18 World Championships with Team USA on January 2. Thiele, a goaltender in the incoming class of 2020, was one of three goaltenders named to the 23-player roster for the U.S. Under-18 Women’s National Team that competed for gold at the Women’s World Championship in Bratislava, Slovakia Dec. 26-Jan. 2.

“The whole experience was so surreal,” said Thiele. “I don’t even know how to explain it but I was just taking it all in. I was taking it one minute at a time. We became a family and to represent your country is just a crazy experience. It was a dream come true for me.”

“It’s always an honor to represent your country’s colors on an international stage and we’re so proud of Amanda for getting two shutouts and earning that spot on the U.S. National Team,” said Buckeye head coach Nadine Muzerall. “We’re so excited for her to come to Ohio State and to be a backbone of our program. I’ve seen her develop over the years and not only is she an incredible athlete but she’s an even better human being who will fit into our culture really nicely.”

The U.S. Under-18 Women’s National Team opened the tournament with a commanding 4-1 win over Finland and went on to defeat Russia 1-0 the following day. Thiele made her Team USA debut against Russia and posted a 20-save shutout in goal. In the final preliminary round game, Team USA faced off against Canada and fellow Ohio State incoming class of 2020 commit, Jenna Buglioni. Canada defeated the U.S. 2-1 in the contest.

Team USA recorded its record 13th-straight berth in the gold-medal game of the World Championships after defeating Russia in a semifinal rematch, 3-0. Thiele once again made the start in net and stopped all 15 shots she faced to record her second shutout of the tournament.

On getting the nod to start two games in net for the U.S., Thiele commented, “I wasn’t really sure what the coaches were going to do but all I knew was that if I worked hard I would get a chance. So then I got a chance and we ended up coming out on top with the win. But then they gave me another shot which was just incredible and I played as hard as I could. I relied on my teammates a lot and the help of my defense was just tremendous throughout the games.”

In a thrilling rematch against Canada, Team USA secured gold in overtime to finish atop the podium for the fifth time in the last six IIHF U18 Women’s World Championships.

“My favorite part of the tournament was obviously winning the gold medal but also just becoming a family with the staff and the players,” said Thiele. “We’ll never forget each other and we made lifelong friends from the experience.”

Buglioni had a notable showing with Team Canada during the tournament, notching four points from one goal and three assists and earning a spot on the Media All-Star Team. She tallied her first assist of the tournament on the overtime game-winning goal in Canada’s 3-2 win over Russia and went on to assist Canada’s first goal in the 4-1 win over Finland. In the semifinal rematch against Finland, Buglioni scored a goal and tallied an assist to help Canada advance to the gold medal game.

“I’m proud for Amanda that she’s bringing back gold and ecstatic to get some more goal scoring from Jenna Buglioni as well,” said Muzerall. “I’m really excited about the depth that we’re bringing in all the way from the goal line up to the top.”

Thiele and Buglioni will be classmates in the incoming class of 2020. “It was great to see her out there going at it and working hard,” said Thiele. “It was a really cool experience to see one of my future teammates across the ice. After the game we gave each other a smile and an extra pat on the back.”