One of the nice turnaround stories early in the girls’ hockey season has been the play of Bloomington Jefferson. Last season, the Jaguars struggled to a 4-19-3 record, but this year they have started to turn things around. After a slow start, they have won five games in a row to get above .500 at 7-5. One of the biggest reasons for the dramatic turnaround has been the play of freshman goalie Bailey Plaman.
Plaman, who played in an under-14 league last season, has a 3.16 goals against average as she and hear teammates have started to click in first-year head coach Mark Stephan’s system.
“We follow people to the net,” Stephan said. “We are able to anticipate things now and have committed to playing defense.”
The team has improved in all aspects over the last couple of weeks, especially on the power play and in its own zone, but a good defense is only as good as its netminder. Plaman has allowed just four goals during the team’s five game winning streak – including shutouts against Apple Valley and Bloomington Kennedy. A disciple of the Robb Stauber school of goaltending, Plaman is a tall butterfly style goalie.
Because she is so sound fundamentally she has started to take her game to the next level.
“Some goalies are reacting to the play in front of them,” Stephan said. “She doesn’t react. She dictates.”