It took until January 3rd for Margot Scharfe to step onto the ice for a regular season game with the New York Riveters, but for Scharfe it was well worth the wait. The all-time leading goal scorer for the Syracuse Orange is one of the Riveters' four practice players along with Cherie Stewart, Amber Moore, and Taylor Holze. Unlike her teammates that signed contracts before the NWHL's inaugural season started, Scharfe is never guaranteed a spot in New York's lineup. The Torontonian has had to display an enormous amount of patience and diligence to earn her ice time and be a part of history this season with the Riveters. As it turns out, Scharfe has plenty of experience carving out a spot for herself in a lineup. She had to work her way into a featured role and ultimately a captaincy at Syracuse.
"She came in knowing full well that (she's) got to earn (her) stripes," Syracuse head coach Paul Flanagan said of Scharfe. "And through her four years she's worked from fourth line to the first line. She's one of those real good success stories that we love to talk about."
Up until early January Margot Scharfe's NWHL season was all about vigilance and staying focused. The recent slew of injured Riveters opened a door for Scharfe to get into the lineup. Although she has been on the ice for just three games her outstanding defensive play has already been noticed. When Scharfe is on the ice things very rarely go poorly for her team. Twice winning the CHA award for the best defensive forward during her time at Syracuse says a lot about just how much of the game Scharfe plays between her ears.
Most of Scharfe's strengths lie in what she does away from the puck which makes her a difficult skater to appreciate for many fans, but her teammates at the college level and in the NWHL know just how valuable she is both on and off the ice. Scharfe sets the bar for her team's compete level and work ethic and can create space and opportunities for her teammates while playing an outstanding defensive game and disrupting the opposition's attack. She may not have the most dangerous shot in the world or the quickest feet, but her intelligence makes her a very valuable and effective hockey player. She's the kind of player that coaches and teammates trust and adore.
"Margot is an extremely hard worker and always keeps her feet moving on the ice. She's a leader on the ice and girls follow what she does." -Syracuse teammate Caitlin Roach
Let's get to know the former captain of the Syracuse Orange and current New York Riveter practice player Margot Scharfe a bit better.
: How old were you the first time you stepped onto the ice holding a hockey stick?
I was five years old when I started playing hockey.
MM: Were there any male or female players that inspired you or that you modeled your game after from a young age?
Growing up, I used to watch my two older brothers play and wanted to be like them.
MM: Does any singular moment standout as the most significant of your college career at Syracuse?
There were many moments that stood out at Syracuse (beating ranked teams, personal milestones etc.), but I think playing in my first ever college game was most memorable.
MM: What was it that appealed to you about being a practice player for the New York Riveters?
It was a once in a lifetime opportunity to play in the inaugural season of the first professional women's hockey league.
MM: What do you think the biggest challenge of being a practice player in the NWHL is?
It is difficult coming from a D1 program and playing often to having a different role on this team. However, it is a role that is easy to embrace, as the team's success is the number one priority, whoever is on the ice.
MM: How would you describe your game and style of play?
I am not the quickest, so I try to play smart and anticipate the play. I aim to be a smart, sound hockey player.
MM: What did it feel like finally getting on the ice for a regular season game on January 3rd against the Connecticut Whale?
It felt great! It was an amazing experience to put on a Riveters jersey and play in front of our fans.
MM: Do you have any pregame rituals or traditions you do before game time?
I have an iced coffee and play soccer before every game.
MM: What does Margot Scharfe do when she isn't playing hockey with the New York Riveters?
I work as a Social Media Analyst at a social software company and enjoy going up to the Adirondacks whenever I have off-time to do fun outdoorsy things like hiking or kayaking.
MM: Ice cream or cake? Why?
Ice cream cake! Best of both worlds.
MM: Favorite show(s) growing up as a kid in Canada?
MM: Which New York Riveter would do the best if society collapsed and we reverted back to stone age technology?
Hmmm, that's a toughy. I would have to say Lando (Elena Orlando). No real reasoning here!
MM: Is there anything you'd like to say to New York Riveters fans?
THANK YOU-- you make this experience so special for us, and possible.
I'd like to thank Margot Scharfe for finding the time to do this interview during a very hectic road trip for the Riveters. You can follow her on twitter at @MargotScharfe and grab her jersey at the NWHL shop when jerseys go back on sale. You can meet Scharfe and the rest of the Riveters after every home game at the Aviator Sports and Events Center when the team signs autographs for loyal Riveters fans.
The Riveters' next game is at home this Sunday, January 17th, at 7:00PM against the Buffalo Beauts. The Riveters are looking to snap a three-game losing streak and get healthy again before the upcoming NWHL All-Star Weekend that will feature four Riveters: Janine Weber, Madison Packer, Morgan Fritz-Ward, and Nana Fujimoto.
Thanks for reading. Let's go Riveters.