The New York Riveters have made the first signing of the NWHL offseason. Katie Fitzgerald, last year’s winner of the NWHL Goaltender of the Year Award, will be the first goaltender to play two seasons for the Riveters.
A key cog in the Riveters success last season, Fitzgerald went from the team’s practice squad in October to an All-Star starting goaltender by mid-season. She led the NWHL in shots faced and saves made during the team’s turnaround season.
Fitzgerald’s play improved behind the team throughout the season, but ultimately ended in disappointment in the playoffs.
“From the moment our season ended in March, I wanted to be back with the Riveters and back in the NWHL,” said Fitzgerald in the league’s press release. “It was an easy decision for me to come back, and I’m proud to stay a Riveter.”
Starting with re-signing Fitzgerald makes a lot of sense for a lot of reasons.
Fitzgerald can clearly handle a big workload, she had the best advanced goaltending stats outside of the Pride’s tandem last year and she still has room to grow. With Fitzgerald signed the Riveters know they have a big, solid goaltender backstopping the team that is capable of stealing games and coming up with momentum-swinging stops.
As of the moment we don’t know who offered Fitzgerald’s contract or what the term was. There was no mention in the league’s press release or the story on NWHL.zone about who the Riveters acting general manager is.
What we do know is that Katie Fitzgerald will be a Riveter next season.