The Connecticut Whale are the second NWHL team to announce their squad of practice players. Celeste Brown and Elena Orlando from last season’s New York Riveters roster have signed on to be part of the Whale’s six player practice squad.
From the league’s press release:
Joining the Whale are Celeste Brown and Elena Orlando, who both played for the New York Riveters in 2015-16. Brown scored 4 assists in 18 games with New York. Orlando collected 1 assist in 17 games in the inaugural season.
Brown shined last season as a shutdown center for the Riveters but didn’t score her first goal until the Isobel Cup Playoffs. Her tireless battles with Boston Pride star Hilary Knight made her a fan favorite.
Orlando was a fearless defender on the overburdened Riveters defense. Often paired with Ashley Johnston, Orlando brought physicality and strength to the back end but didn’t contribute much offense. She played her college hockey at Quinnipiac so she is no stranger to the Connecticut area.
Last season the Riveters regularly had to turn to their practice squad after Erin Barley-Maloney suffered an undisclosed injury sometime before the regular season. Defender Amber Moore and forward Taylor Holze (before her abdominal injury) became mainstays on the roster. Holze’s penalty killing and skating ability made her one of the biggest surprises from the Riveters inaugural season.
The Riveters practice squad has yet to be announced. Defender Gabie Figueroa from last season’s roster is anticipated to be one of the five skaters named to the squad.