September 16th was a big day for the New York Riveters. Not only was it the team's first practice together before the upcoming regular season, it was also a day filled with interviews, gear fitting, and press conferences at Aviator Sports & Events Center in Brooklyn, New York.
For Jenny Scrivens it was her first taste of being both a goaltender for the Riveters as well as a member of the NWHL's public relations and communications team. Prior to joining the Riveters and the NWHL, the California-born Scrivens was living in Alberta, Canada with her husband Ben Scrivens and working as the Director of Communications at the Ronald McDonald House in Alberta, Canada. Before that she was a standout playing Ivy League hockey with Cornell (where she met her husband) from 2006 to 2009.
During the Riveters' Press Conference on Wednesday Jenny talked about what being a professional hockey player felt like.
"It's very exciting to be a part of this inaugural season and to help get the league off the ground. I also feel a little bit of responsibility. We want it to succeed, we want it to go on for generations. And for the little girls that come to our games at six or seven years old, we want this opportunity to be available for them as well. So we want to do our best and make the league as fun and exciting as possible."
After the players' press conference I was fortunate enough to have some one-on-one time to interview Jenny Scrivens and talk to her about her involvement with the league and what life has been like since signing a contract with the New York Riveters.
: You mentioned before how important it is for you to be a role model. Can you talk about what it means to you that you might inspire young girls to pick up a hockey stick for the first time?
Jenny Scrivens: This just brings me back to when I was starting to play hockey and I was six years old. Once I started to grow I realized that there were college hockey players and female hockey players. Then I saw the 1998 Nagano Olympics. Once I saw that, the whole picture became clear and I was able to say, 'That's what I want to do. I want that person to be my role model.' From then on that became my dream. So, for me to be a part of the very first NWHL season just makes me picture myself back in '98. Hopefully I can be a good role model for someone, hopefully our entire league can be good role models for those girls growing up playing hockey by inspiring them to continue on and to grow. It's more than just hockey. If we can encourage them to chase their dreams, no matter what they are, as long as they're breaking down barriers and pushing the envelope forward, I think we're doing the right thing.
MM: Was there any particular reason you chose to join the Riveters?
JS: No, I mean I do like New York so that really helps! I have some friends and family around here so that helped as well. I really liked the team, I really like the league in general. That really clicked with me so it was a no-brainer.
MM: What has it been like pulling double duty with public relations and being a goaltender for the Riveters?
JS: It's been a really good challenge for me. They are both roles I've done before. I've played college hockey and after college hockey was done I've been in communications, marketing, and PR roles ever since. This is the one time where I've really been able to combine those two roles and those two careers. This is the first time that hockey can be a career for me, I was never paid before. It's a really great challenge, a really unique one. I'm loving it, it seems like a perfect fit for me. It seems like my dream job just sort of fell on my lap, so it's really fun for me to wear my PR hat during the day. I was with Dani Rylan at Bloomberg TV today, so we were rushing downtown to do that and then we rushed back to the rink and now I have to switch gears and get ready for practice. So far it's been a lot of fun. As long as I don't get too worn down it will be great!
MM: How does it feel knowing that the regular season is just a month away?
JS: I still can't believe that it's a month away. I guess it's coming up soon. It will be great for us to have this month to get to know one another. We know each other's names but we haven't all played together so this is a great chance for us to bond, get to know our new coaches, get to know our system, and get a chance to grow familiar with Aviator and Brooklyn in general.
MM: Is there anything you'd like to say to Riveters fans who are excited for the upcoming season?
JS: I think we'd all want to say that we're excited to bring hockey back to Brooklyn. We're excited to be a part of this league and this inaugural season. We hope to make it really fun for them. We want to get involved with the community, we want to get to know the people in Brooklyn, and we want to get to know our fans. Feel free to reach out to us! I feel that we're pretty accessible on social media, so don't hesitate there. We hope to meet you all through many of the fun events we have planned coming down the road.
After the press conference and my interview with Jenny the media was welcome to watch the Riveters take to the ice for their first practice. With Nana Fujimoto absent, Jenny Scrivens and Union College graduate Shenae Lundberg were between the pipes in the New York Riveters up-tempo practice run by Head Coach Chad Wiseman.
Here are a few stills of Jenny Scrivens from the Riveters' practice and press conference.
With three goaltenders under contract the Riveters are incredibly deep at the goaltending position. In addition to being a safeguard against potential injuries it also allows the Riveters to run full practices and enjoy some healthy competition between their three netminders. Jenny Scrivens is a remarkable person off the ice but it would be a mistake to think that she is just in the locker room to provide leadership and guidance. While playing for Cornell she was a standout goaltender, especially in her senior year when she posted a .916 SV% and a 2.56 GAA despite regularly making at least 30 saves in two-thirds of the games she played in with the Big Red.
Scrivens uses her 5'9" frame to take away the bottom half of the net from opposing forwards and is very rarely beaten low. As you might suspect, she is a classic butterfly goaltender and that was on full display during Wednesday's practice. When her teammates did manage to get pucks by her there were more than a few celebrations, including a noteworthy "whoo!" by fellow Cornell graduate Erin Barley-Maloney. You can check out a clip of it here on Blueshirt Banter's YouTube page.
Some more coverage from the Riveters' first practice and media day will be forthcoming with the inaugural NWHL season just a month away.
I'd like to extend a big thank you to Jenny Scrivens and the NWHL for their hospitality.
Thanks for reading. Let's go Riveters!