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Pregame: 2/19, Connecticut Whale at New York Riveters

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Connor Murphy

How to Watch

Time - 3:00PM

Location - Newark, NJ

Where to Watch - Free Stream Here via NWHL's YouTube Channel

Preview

The All-Star break is over. The race for the playoffs begins. The surging New York Riveters will host the struggling Connecticut Whale this afternoon in Newark, NJ. The Riveters will look to continue their recent winning ways and cement a second place seed in the standings with the playoffs looming in the impending weeks. Meanwhile, a lowly Connecticut club needs a shot in the arm to crawl out of the basement and avoid a first round matchup against undefeated Boston.

New York has been awakened with the return of Amanda Kessel. The offense is firing on all cylinders with the All-Star captain leading the way. She has registered at least a point in every game she has played in this season. The Riveters have given themselves some breathing room in the standings and are rapidly approaching a positive goal differential. That feat alone is a rare one in the Riveters brief history.

Connor Murphy

Connecticut has lost six games in a row, but have made some changes to their lineup to right the ship. The Whale acquired deadly winger Zoe Hickel from Boston at the trade deadline in exchange for a 2017 first round draft pick. Kait Cimini offered some insight into the consequences of such a trade for Connecticut in her piece at FanRag sports: “The acquisition of Hickel represents a shift in tactics for Connecticut, leaving behind a defensive focus and instead focusing on quick puck movement and outscoring its opponent.” The move reflects an all-in approach as the Whale have surrendered the most goals in the NWHL. Do not expect to see many low-scoring games with Connecticut involved, which New York proved in their 8-6 gong-show late last month.

Players to Watch

New York Riveters

#12 Janine Weber

The Austrian forward has been on an absolute tear in her sophomore NWHL season. She has netted 7 goals and picked up 8 assists in 14 game this season, surpassing her totals from last year. Weber seems to have found another gear in her offensive game and the threat of scoring throughout the lineup has been a crucial aspect to the Riveters revitalization.

Connor Murphy

Connecticut Whale

#44 Zoe Hickel

The gold medal and Isobel Cup winner will be making her debut in green today. After putting up 6 points, including just one goal, in 12 games this season for the Pride, Hickel will likely be featured in a more prominent role on her new team. Tonight could be a sign of things to come for a retooled Connecticut team looking to overwhelm teams with an offensive onslaught.