The Connecticut Whale will play just their second home game of the season against the New York Riveters today.
The Riveters dropped last Sunday’s game in Newark against the Whale by a score of 4-2. After gaining some momentum thanks to exceptional goaltending by Katie Fitzgerald, they find themselves back in fourth place with a record of 2-5-1.
On the bright side fan favorite Taylor Holze scored her first NWHL goal on one of the prettiest plays that has ever graced the ice at the Barnabas Health Hockey House.
Seriously, look at that passing by Rebecca Russo and Courtney Burke and the finish by Holze. Gorgeous.
Speaking of Russo, the Riveters’ rookie leads the NWHL in assists (and primary assists) thanks in part to that perfect set-up.
NWHL Assists Leaders (A1 in parentheses):— Mike Murphy (@DigDeepBSB) December 14, 2016
Rebecca Russo: 8 (5)
A. Carpenter: 6 (4)
N. Connery: 6 (3)
K. Babstock: 6 (4)
A.Gruschow: 6 (3) pic.twitter.com/3WmYvZDJen
Burke’s return to the lineup after her lower-body injury was a big plus for the Riveters’ defense. Her return knocked the very capable Rebecca Morse out of the lineup and Gabie Figueroa plugged in at forward in the team’s first game since the retirement of Morgan Fritz-Ward.
Morse is a player that deserves some more ice time. But it’s unlikely she will get back into the lineup as a forward.
Coming into today’s game the Whale have a record of 4-4-0. They have battled their way back into second place in the standings because of their dangerous offense.
The key to tonight’s game for the Riveters will be taking advantage of the key forwards that the Whale are missing because of Team USA international duty. Kelly Babstock put up a hat trick, including a shorthanded goal, the last time these two teams met, but she is suspended for this game.
Miye D’Oench has now gone three games without registering a point. She’ll be looking to get back on track today against the team that she has scored two of her four goals against. With Amanda Kessel still watching games from the bleachers, the Riveters need her to change the lights on the scoreboard.
The puck drops today at 2:30PM EST. You can watch the game (free streaming) on the NWHL’s YouTube page and on Cheddar.
After today’s game the Riveters and the NWHL will take a holiday break. They will return to action on January 7th in Newark when they host the undefeated Boston Pride.