BURLINGTON – The youngest player on Team Germany is 16-year-old Kerstin Spielberger who won’t celebrate her 17th birthday until just before Christmas. Despite her youth, she brings a new level of talent and skill to her team as it prepares to make a run for Sochi next year in Ottawa at the 2013 Women’s World Championship.
Spielberger played her first official IIHF game at the senior level with Germany yesterday, a 3-2 win over Switzerland. She had four shots on goal and had one minor penalty in her debut.
When did you start skating? Why?
I was five. My brother and my father played, so I wanted to play.
Who was your first hockey hero?
I didn’t have one.
What was the name of your first team?
It was a local team in Bavaria.
What made you want to take hockey seriously enough to play for the national team?
I had success with my teams. It was enjoyable and I wanted to keep having success.
Why do you wear number 2?
No reason. I’m a new player, so I just wear what I was given.
Any pre-game superstitions?
I always dress the left side first, and I always wear a red bandana under my helmet.
What’s on your iPod?
What do you remember about your first game with the national team?
It was very special. It was an under-16 game against Austria in a Four Nations tournament.
What’s your career highlight to date?
I was the top scorer in the last under-18 World Championship in the Czech Republic.
What’s your greatest strength and biggest weakness?
That’s not for me to say—that’s for others to say!
Who on your team do you most admire? Why?
All of the players. I’m the rookie!
What do you want to do after your playing career?
I have no idea—I’m too young to think about it.
Finish this sentence. This will be a great tournament if…
…we win a medal here and later win the Olympic qualification.