Anchorage’s Saville battles stomach virus & nerves to win USA the gold against Russia in hockey

ANCHORAGE (KTUU) — The United States under 18 hockey team recently won gold at the World Junior A challenge in Bonnyville, Alberta. Team USA faced off with perennial power Russia in the gold medal game, winning 2-0, and Anchorage goaltender Isaiah Saville made 25 saves in net.

Courtesy Tri-City Storm Hockey

“I was the most nervous I had been for anything in my entire life,” Saville said over the phone on Tuesday. “Leading up to the game coming off the ice after warm ups, I couldn’t stay still, freaking out, super excited, super nervous, but obviously in a good way.”

Saville has represented the United States in tournaments around the world, but said this was by far the biggest. The other two times the 18-year-old played for Team USA, top countries like Canada or Russia weren’t playing the tournament.

“You think about what it’s like to win a gold medal, beat such a high level competition team like the Russians,” Saville said.

What’s even more impressive is earlier in the tournament, Saville had to battle through a stomach virus, but said if he was healthy he planned on playing in the gold medal game.

What’s next for Saville? The soon to be high school graduate said depending on his hockey schedule he hopes to graduate with his fellow West High classmates. He's currently taking online courses through the Anchorage School District.

Saville lead West to a state title in net in 2015-16, and played in Colorado and Minnesota before ending up in Nebraska, playing for the Tri-City Storm in the United States Hockey League — considered one of the premier Junior Hockey Leagues in the nation. Saville is currently 11-2 this season for the Storm, averaging 1.56 goals against average.

The 18-year-old signed his national letter of intent to play hockey at the University of Nebraska Omaha, and will attend school there next fall.

In other Alaska goalie news, South High goaltender Hannah Hogenson was chosen for the U.S. Under 18 Women’s National team in Obihiro, Japan for the 2019 IIHF U18 World Championships.