WW 30 – Story #28
by Andrew Podnieks|30 MAR 2020
German player Julia Zorn posed with her stick as a forward and a goalie stick after having switched positions.
photo: Andre Ringuette / HHOF-IIHF Images
Germany’s Julia Zorn has done something no other player in IIHF history has done. She has played tournaments as both a goalie and as a skater.

Zorn was the goalie of record for Germany at the first ever U18 Women’s World Championship, in Calgary, in 2008. She won three of five games, sported a 2.61 GAA, and led the team to a fifth-place finish.

She played in Germany’s 10-1 loss to Canada, allowing seven of those goals, but if that game is removed for her records, she allowed just five goals in four games.

A year later, she converted to forward, but only because of circumstance.

“I had a foot injury, and I couldn’t play goal because the movement was difficult,” she explained. “So my coach suggested that I just start to skate first to get into shape and get back on the ice because he knew I could skate. It was so much fun for me, so I decided to be a skater!”

Zorn played in Women’s World Championship Division I in 2009 and 2011, and she used these years to fully master the change.

“I had to learn a lot of things,” Zorn noted. “For example, skating is totally different. I had to be aware of what you do in the offensive zone, in the defensive zone. I had to learn all of these things, but my coach [Peter Kathan] made it easy for me. He helped me a lot.”

The Germans finished first in 2011 and earned promotion to the top pool for 2012, in Burlington, Vermont, by which time Zorn had become one of her team’s best players. She scored the game-winning goal in the team’s opening game, a 3-2 victory over Switzerland. 

The team didn’t qualify for the playoffs, but in the first relegation game against Slovakia in a tense best-of-three series, Zorn tied the game with a goal in the second period, which led to a victory in the penalty-shot shootout. 

In the second game of the relegation, she scored an early goal short-handed to send the team on its way to a 3-1 win, earning earn a trip to Ottawa 2013. In all, Zorn had four goals in five games to lead all German players.

Zorn and Germany have played in the top pool ever since, their best result coming in 2017 when they lost the bronze-medal game to Finland. Zorn, now 30, has been a skater all this time, but her early career as a goalie gives her a special place in IIHF history.

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