Tonight at 7:00 PM the Riveters will take to the ice at Aviator Sports and Events Center in Brooklyn, New York for their home opener against the Boston Pride. The Riveters will be looking to bounce back after a 4-1 loss on the road last Sunday to Kelli Stack and the Connecticut Whale, and they're going to have their work cut out for them. The Pride won their first game of the season over the Buffalo Beauts 4-1 in a dominant performance.
The Pride are a team with an embarrassment of riches in regards to the members of the USWNT that are on the roster and all kinds of chemistry thanks to the number of Boston Blades players that landed with Boston's NWHL franchise. As I went into yesterday in an analytical analysis of the Riveters' loss to the Whale, there are a lot of things that the Riveters need to work on and tonight, against Knight and the Pride, the transition game is going to be essential.
The Pride out-shot the Buffalo Beauts- who were without a lot of key players- 29 to 15 despite taking five minor penalties in the game. The Riveters' best chances tonight might come on the power play. Communication is going to be key against the Pride in the defensive zone who can and will make the Riveters pay if they repeat some of the mistakes they made last Sunday against the Whale.
Pride Players to Watch
Hilary Knight- With a three point game to start off her NWHL career Hilary Knight is right where everyone was expecting her to be; grabbing headlines playing professional women's hockey. Hilary Knight is the face of the USWNT and, most would agree, the NWHL as well.
Brianna Decker- Decker is just 24 years old and is already one of the most exciting forwards in women's hockey. She is one of several Boston Pride players that played for the Boston Blades last season with the Riveters' Janine Weber.
Kacey Bellamy- Two points and two minor penalties ensured that Bellamy made an impact on the Boston Pride's first game against the Beauts last Sunday. Bellamy is a key skater on the Pride's blue line and will be a player to watch tonight. The Belyakova line will have to get past Bellamy tonight when they're crashing the net and causing chaos in the offensive zone.
It's unclear what Gigi Marvin's status for tonight's game is and the same holds true for the New York Riveters' Sydney Kidd who appears to still be in Canada with suspected visa issues. Marvin would be a huge loss for the Pride if she is unable to dress for tonight's game.
In other less-than-great notes, Gigi Marvin was injured during her second shift and was reportedly seen wearing a sling after the game. No word yet on the extent of her injury, but given her versatile skills, this would be a significant loss for the team. However, with this offense, hopefully they'll be able to offset any possible defensive detriments.
The Riveters are going to need to show a lot more cohesion and discipline in their own end against another team with some serious star power in their top six forward group. Look for Ashley Johnston to battle with Hilary Knight tonight as the Riveters look to win their home opener for the inaugural 2015-16 season. Alright Riveters fans, let's do this.
Please treat this as your game thread! Ryan and I will get our recap, photo galleries, and analysis up sometime tomorrow as we are both covering the game in person.
Let's go Riveters. #historyisnow