The Riveters dropped their first game of the 2016-17 season by a score of 6-3 to the Boston Pride. The four goals allowed by Sojung Shin in the second period proved to be too deep a hole for the Riveters to dig themselves out of. But despite the story that the scoreboard told at the end of regulation, there were a lot of positive signs to take away from the game.
The Riveters played fast, aggressive hockey in Buffalo last weekend. Unsurprisingly there were issues with structure and sloppy play (it was the team’s third game together). But when things were clicking, the Riveters looked good. Very good.
Tonight marks the first time that Kaleigh Fratkin, the Riveters’ $19,500 defender, plays against her old NWHL team. The departure of Fratkin has left the Whale with a lack of puck-movement on their blue line. The Whale will be counting on the additions of rookie forwards (and Riveters’ draft picks) Haley Skarupa and Dana Trivigno to drive their offense with Kelli Stack and Kelly Babstock.
Skarupa is off to a blistering start after scoring a hat trick and picking up a primary assist in her first NWHL game. Babstock, who is showing early signs of promising chemistry with Skarupa, had a goal and two primary assists on Sunday.
Both the Whale and the Riveters are searching for their first wins of the season tonight. After a goal-filled opening NWHL weekend, tonight’s winner should be the team that makes the fewest mistakes.
Last season the Whale were considered the second-best team in the league. They are a good measuring stick for a Riveters team that is looking to rebound and start the season in their new home rink the right way.
Player to Watch: Sojung Shin
The spotlight in New York’s goal crease continues to grow brighter.
Shin was yanked from her NWHL debut after allowing five goals on 26 shots. It’s hard to hang all of the goals on Shin, but it was undoubtedly a rough game for her. Fitzgerald allowed one goal on seven shots in relief.
The South Korean goaltender will be looking to put last weekend behind her tonight. The Whale have some dangerous forwards. Shin will have her work cut out for her tonight.
Off to a Riveting Start
Amanda Kessel- The Olympian had two primary assists in her NWHL debut and looked just as good away from the puck as she did with it. To the surprise of no one Kessel made the Riveters look like a completely different, and much improved, team last weekend.
Miye D’Oench- The kid from New York City scored the first goal of the Riveters’ season skating on the top line with Kessel and Janine Weber. D’Oench put four shots on net in her NWHL debut. She’s an energy player with a great finishing touch. In other words: she’s a joy to watch.
Tatiana Rafter- With a taped-up jersey Rafter looked very good in her Riveters’ debut. Her strength and hustle helped her get to a loose puck in the crease and jam it home past Ott for her first goal with her new team.
The puck drops tonight at 5:00PM at the Barnabas Hockey House in Newark. You can watch tonight’s game streaming for free online on the NWHL’s YouTube channel.