Alex Gulstene and Sydney Scobee work as the Gophers’ puck-stopping duo

The two goaltenders will be a tandem until a clear starter emerges.

Sophomore goaltender Alex Gulstene makes a save. Gopher womens hockey beat Mercyhurst 4-2 in their season opener on Friday, Sept. 28 at Ridder Arena.

Tony Saunders

Sophomore goaltender Alex Gulstene makes a save. Gopher women’s hockey beat Mercyhurst 4-2 in their season opener on Friday, Sept. 28 at Ridder Arena.

by Erik Nelson

Although former goaltender Sidney Peters isn’t in net this season, No. 3 Minnesota (2-0-0) has two goaltenders who will take the reins.

Sophomore Alex Gulstene and junior Sydney Scobee will be Minnesota’s goaltending duo until a clear starter emerges. Scobee and Gulstene both won games in Minnesota’s series sweep over Mercyhurst (0-2-0) last weekend.

Gulstene said Minnesota is in a good situation regarding goaltending.

“It comes down to who’s playing better and who’s going to get the win for the team,” Gulstene said. “It’s not a combative relationship. We’re there to make sure our team has the best chance of getting wins. Whoever goes is a good option.”

Last season, Gulstene won seven games. Her goals-against average was 2.37 and her save percentage was .893. 

Scobee played for Vermont last season. She played in 28 games and won nine of them. Her goals-against average was 2.72 and her save percentage was .923.

Scobee said the best-case scenario for the Gophers is that both she and Gulstene play well.

“There’s nothing better than when there’s two goalies that are hot,” Scobee said. “It will give our team more depth and options to look forward to the upcoming weekends and who we play.”

Head coach Brad Frost said he wanted to give both Gulstene and Scobee a chance to start in the Gophers’ series against Mercyhurst.

“They both deserve it,” Frost said. “In hockey, if you can have more than one good goaltender, that’s positive. They’ve got a good relationship with one another. They push each other to be better.”

In her season debut on Sept. 28, Gulstene stopped 21 of 23 Mercyhurst shots for her first win of the season. Scobee made her Minnesota debut on Sept. 29 and stopped all 17 Mercyhurst shots for her first win and shutout in a Gophers uniform.

“For anybody who watched the game or the highlights of Scobee on Saturday, what an awesome accomplishment to come in as a transfer junior and have that sort of game,” said defender Sophie Skarzynski. “They’re outstanding goalies. They have a ton of talent. They bring a lot of benefit to our team.”

In case either Gulstene or Scobee cannot play, the Gophers have two other goaltenders: junior Serena D’Angelo and senior Emma May. All four of Minnesota’s netminders appeared in Minnesota’s exhibition game on Sept. 23 against British Columbia. Gulstene played in the first period, Scobee played in the second and both May and D’Angelo played in the third.

Scobee said she’s glad to have Gulstene as a partner.

“People might not think so, but you get to learn from each other [and] watch each other in practice,” she said. “It helps both of us.”

Either Gulstene or Scobee will be called upon this weekend to face Minnesota-Duluth (2-0-0) and its star netminder Maddie Rooney. 

Gulstene said the goaltending situation each game is not up to her.

“It’s [coach] Frost and the coaching staff that makes that decision,” Gulstene said. “I trust the process. Whoever gets their number called is who we’re going to go with.”