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Interview with Brooke Ammerman of the New York Riveters

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A dominant player at Wisconsin, a New Jersey native, and the first player to score a goal as a New York Riveter. Brooke Ammerman is one of the Riveters' most exciting players to watch on the ice and she agreed to do a quick interview with us for Blueshirt Banter.

Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

While playing with the powerhouse women's hockey Wisconsin Badgers hockey team, Brooke Ammerman piled on 214 points in 152 games from 2008-2012. During her senior season the 26 year old scored 77 points in just 40 games including 34 goals. Ammerman is the fourth-highest scoring Badger ever and was named the team's offensive player of the year during her sophomore season at Wisconsin. Her 98 goals still stand as the third-highest in the history of women's hockey at Wisconsin and she was a key member of the 2009 and 2011 National Championship teams.

After her college career Ammerman was on the radar of the United States Women's National team after playing for the U18 team twice and the U22 team once earlier during her hockey career and then took her talents to Europe to play in Germany. Ammerman returned to the States before the NWHL materialized and she signed her contract to join the Riveters, joining former college teammate Madison Packer, and play in Brookyln which is about an hour and a half away from her home town of River Vale, New Jersey.

"When my college career ended a few years ago I went to play in Europe, but it wasn't the same at all. So to have this opportunity to play hockey near where I settled in New Jersey and continue to coach is an opportunity I couldn't pass up." -Brooke Ammerman on joining the NWHL

Dani Rylan and Brooke Ammerman.

Although she has missed the last two regular season games with an injury, Brooke Ammerman has been a standout player for the Riveters in their inaugural season. Blessed with amazing hands and a lethal, sneaky shot, Ammerman is undoubtedly one of the Riveters' best offensive players and before leaving the lineup with her injury she was among the most productive skaters on New York after being perhaps the best player for her team during the brief preseason. Ammerman is creative and dynamic with the puck and has a knack for scoring big goals which makes her one of the most entertaining players to watch in the NWHL.

It should come as no surprise that Ammerman is one of the most dangerous offensive players for New York, but her two-way game has been underrated throughout her college career and during her time in the NWHL. Ammerman has shown that she is a lot more than an offensive dynamo during her time with the Riveters and has made an impact on the games where she hasn't picked up points with her strong play in the transition game and her ability to wreak havoc on opposing defenses.

Let's get to know Riveters star forward and New Jersey native Brooke Ammerman a little bit better.

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Mike Murphy: How old were you when you knew you wanted to be a hockey player?

Brooke Ammerman:

I was five when my parents got me involved with roller hockey. My dad had season tickets to the Devils and that is when I fell in love with the game.

MM: How special is it for you to play for the Riveters in the state adjacent to your home state of New Jersey?

Brooke Ammerman:

It is really special. I never thought I would get an opportunity to play this close to home at such a high level.

MM: What was your reaction when you learned that you would be reunited with Wisconsin teammate Madison Packer on the New York Riveters?

Brooke Ammerman:

It was great. Madison and I have played together since we were 17 years old. We were excited to get the opportunity to play together again.

Ammerman and Packer.

MM: Is there a story behind your wearing the number 20?

Brooke Ammerman:

I wore 44 my entire career leading up to playing at Wisconsin. I chose 20 when I went there and it has stuck ever since.

MM: How much hockey were you playing after your career in Wisconsin was over and before you signed your contract with the Riveters?

Brooke Ammerman:

I attended the 2014 Olympic tryout and after that I moved to Munich, Germany for a year and played in the German league. It was great experience I got to travel, play hockey, and I met my future husband.

MM: Do you have any pregame traditions or rituals that you do before the puck drops?

Brooke Ammerman:

I am a laid back person so I just do the same warm up and usually ended up talking about life with Beth and Janine.

MM: Your name will forever be attached to the first goal in New York Riveters franchise history. What does that mean to you? Were you able to get the puck?

Brooke Ammerman:

It was awesome and something I will be able to cherish for the rest of my life and even more special since a lot of my family was there. I have the puck in my living room for now.

MM: Are there any moments and memories that stand out to you from the team's trip to Japan for the exhibition series against Team Japan?

Brooke Ammerman:

It was a really cool experience to get an opportunity to go to Japan and play hockey. We got to see where Nana was from and got to experience a lot of the culture. It was a really fun bonding experience since we don't get a lot of time together since we all have real jobs.

I looked up to NHL players when I was growing up and wanted to be like them. My only exposure to women's hockey at the time were the 1998 and 2002 Olympic games. Now that women's hockey is so much more accessible shows how far we have come as a sport. - Brooke Ammerman

MM: You have been out of the lineup recently with a hand injury. How are you feeling now and what is the hardest part about having to watch your teammates play in street clothes?

Brooke Ammerman:

I will be back this weekend, it healed fast enough that I only missed 2 games. It is never  fun to have to watch your team play, but I am happy to be back.

MM: If the entire New York Riveters team engaged in an "every woman for herself" free-for-all dodgeball tournament, who do you think would emerge as the champion after all the dust settled?

Brooke Ammerman:

Elena Orlando.

MM: Which of your teammates do you think has the most potential for a career in stand-up comedy?

Brooke Ammerman:

Beth Hanrahan.

MM: If you could only watch one television show and one movie for the rest of your life, what show and movie would you choose?

Brooke Ammerman:

SportsCenter and Blue Crush.

MM: What is Brooke Ammerman doing when she's not playing hockey with the New York Riveters?

Brooke Ammerman:

Coaching my 10-U girls team and my high school team. Also traveling to Germany any chance I get to spend time with and watch my fiancé play hockey.

MM: There are now little girls wearing your jersey that can now aspire to be professional hockey players, what does that mean to you?

Brooke Ammerman:

It is awesome. I looked up to NHL players when I was growing up and wanted to be like them. My only exposure to women's hockey at the time were the 1998 and 2002 Olympic games. Now that women's hockey is so much more accessible shows how far we have come as a sport.

MM: Is there anything you'd like to say to New York Riveters fans?

Brooke Ammerman:

I would like to thank them for all the support. We need the fans the most to keep this league sustainable for the future. Our goal is to put a product on the ice that they enjoy watching and want to come back and see and also to be accessible to the fans so they get to know us and want to support us.

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I'd like to thank Brooke Ammerman for taking the time to do this interview, especially while recovering from her injury. You can follow her on twitter at @bammerman20 and grab her jersey at the NWHL shop when jerseys go back on sale. You can meet Ammerman 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.

Ammerman's amazing hands on display just before a shootout goal in the preseason.

The first player to score a goal in a New York Riveters jersey will return to the lineup this weekend when the Riveters take on the Connecticut Whale at the Yale Ingalls Rink at 7:30 PM on Saturday and then travel to Massachusetts to play Ammerman's former teammates Brianna Decker and Hilary Knight and the Boston Pride at 3:00 PM at the Harvard Bright-Landry Center. Ammerman returning to the Riveters' lineup will be a boon to a roster that has been unable to get away from injuries to key players this season. Look for her to make an impact and help get the Riveters back to winning hockey games from the moment she gets back on the ice.

Thanks for reading. Let's go Riveters.