BLAINE, Minn. -- Jessie Vetter has established herself as a reliable, unflappable presence where it counts the most in hockey.
The goalie even prefers laid-back music, leading to an unofficial locker room ban of Vetter's iPod from the main dock that pumps techno and rap tunes through the speakers before practices and games to get the adrenaline going.
"No one likes boy bands and country," Vetter said.
The U.S. women's national team truly appreciates her talent, though, and more importantly her poise.
"It's crazy, because they always say goalies are a different breed. She's a different breed than the goaltenders' breed," teammate Angela Ruggiero, a three-time Olympian, said. "Usually they're quirky and they're moving the ice and they have their mannerisms. Jesse's just like totally normal, which puts her in a different realm."
Without any Olympic experience, Vetter must maintain that composure in Vancouver for the Americans to get gold. Victorious in 1998, they lost to Canada in 2002 and settled for silver. In 2006, they were upset by Sweden in a semifinal shootout and traveled back with a bronze.
"I'm just a calm person as it is," said Vetter, who set an NCAA record with 39 career shutouts, a .941 save percentage and 91 victories while helping Wisconsin reach the national championship game in all four of her seasons. The Badgers won it all three times.
"If you get scored on, it happens," Vetter said. "You've just got to forget about it, and you've got to move on."
Head coach Mark Johnson was also Vetter's coach at Wisconsin. He gave her the job midway through her redshirt freshman season and watched her end the year with a scoreless streak of more than 200 minutes. The Badgers beat Mercyhurst in double overtime of the NCAA quarterfinals that season, her first national playoff game, and went on to win the title.
"She's met all the challenges," Johnson said. "She thrives on that. She's comfortable in that environment."
Chanda Gunn, the primary goalie in Turin, remains on the roster, but Vetter was in the net for the title game while the U.S. team won each of the last two world championships.
"There's definitely probably going to be those jitters, once you step on that ice: the first practice, the first game, the first save you make," Vetter said, asked to envision the Olympic experience. "But once you're there and you get used to the situation and stuff, I think it will definitely come back. ... It is the Olympics and it is a big stage, but hopefully I'll have that opportunity."
The veteran core has been training for the past year at the National Sports Center in the Minneapolis suburb of Blaine. Forty-one players are here for a series of scrimmages this week, and Johnson and his staff must choose 23 for the touring team that tunes up for Vancouver throughout the fall. The final 21-player Olympic roster will be declared in mid-December.
No spot is guaranteed, but Vetter leads the list of near-locks for the squad that must play on Canada's home ice.
It's that calmness, of course, that has helped her get to this point.
"She's relaxed, she's laughing, she's smiling," Ruggiero said. "It's the weirdest thing."