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Goalie Tueting Comes Up Golden for U.S.

By David Ginsburg
Associated Press
Tuesday, February 17, 1998; 7:24 a.m. EST

NAGANO, Japan — She had to be at her absolute best for the United States to win, and goalie Sarah Tueting came up golden.

Whether it was doing a split in the crease, reaching far left with her glove to snare the puck or fearlessly absorbing a slap shot into her pads, Tueting performed brilliantly today. Thanks to her 21-save effort, the United States won the inaugural Olympic women's hockey tournament with a 3-1 upset of Canada.

U.S. coach Ben Smith wouldn't reveal his starting goalie in the days leading up to the game, saying Tueting and Sara DeCosta were virtually interchangeable. But when it came time to put his best team on the ice in the biggest game in the history of the sport, Smith chose the player known to her teammates as ``Teeter.''

The nickname came from Tueting's days at Dartmouth, when she was one of six coeds on the freshman team who answered to the name of Sarah. Put it this way: Teeter is better than Hound, Devil or Lenny, the nickname that three of the other Sarahs assumed.

In the game of her life, Tueting didn't Teeter — particularly in the third period. With 17 minutes left, she knocked away a shot by Canada's Danielle Goyette. Two minutes later, Tueting forced an approaching Canadian to go to the backhand, and the puck slid harmlessly through the crease.

Canada finally broke through with 4:01 left, scoring a power-play goal to close to 2-1. Minutes later, Tueting kicked away the potential game-tying shot.

Not long after that, after the U.S. team added an empty-net goal and the final horn sounded, Tueting was smothered by her teammates, many of whom had long experienced the agony of finishing second to the Canadians in the Women's World Championships.

Tueting, 21, outplayed her Canadian counterpart, Manon Rheaume, who came in with a 0.81 goals-against average.

© Copyright 1998 The Associated Press

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