Nana Fujimoto, Lyudmila Belyakova, and Janine Weber give the Riveters the most intercontinental roster in the league, but the team that will play half of its games in Brooklyn, New York this season still has deep local roots.
Brooke Ammerman played her college puck at Wisconsin but the power forward with sweet hands was born in River Vale, New Jersey. Gabie Figueora was not only born in Branchburg, NJ, she also attended college at Princeton and played college hockey with the Lady Tigers.
Both defenseman Kiira Dosdall and standout two-way forward Bray Ketchum were born in the state of Connecticut. Ketchum played her college hockey at Yale and Dosdall was most recently playing in with the Vienna Sabres. Dosdall played her college hockey at Colgate.
Forward Morgan Fritz-Ward and key blueliner Elena Orlando both played college hockey at Quinnipiac, a Division I Women's hockey school. Fritz-Ward captained the Bobcats and Orlando played both rugby and hockey for Quinnipiac.
Swing player Erin Barley-Maloney and goaltender Jenny Scrivens both played college hockey at Cornell. Barley-Maloney scored 42 points in 63 games for the Big Red after transferring from Vermont. Jenny Scrivens made 1,336 saves in 52 games for the Big Red from 2006-2009.
Riveters' preseason standout and the second player signed by the team in the offseason Celeste Brown played her college hockey at RIT. Brown played a feature role in lifting RIT from
Both Ashley Johnston, one of just two Canadians on the team (the other being Sydney Kidd), and goaltender Shenae Lundberg were standouts at Union College in Schenectady, New York, a Division 1 women's hockey school.
All four of the Riveters' practice players have ties to New York state and/or City. Taylor Holze was born in Lynnbrook and Cherie Stewart, Amber Moore, and Margot Scharfe all played their college hockey in New York state.
The high number of Riveters with local roots in the greater New York area makes a great deal of sense. The logistics of moving to the play for any of the NWHL's four teams is and was a huge challenge and commitment for players like Madison Packer, Nana Fujimoto, and Lyudmila Belyakova. When general manager Dani Rylan was recruiting and signing players for the Riveters she focused on players that were living or already situated around New York. Although in some regards this limited the player pool that the Riveters (and other NWHL teams) had to work with, but that didn't stop the Riveters from having a serious stockpile of talent. It also didn't hinder Dani Rylan's successful effort to build a team that was defined by two-way play, work ethic, and blue-collar hockey.
The local roots aren't just limited to the players, though. The Riveters' coaching staff also has deep connections to the New York area. Goaltending coach Jonathan de Castro runs the De Castro Goaltending Academy in the City, Mark DeSimone is from Hell's Kitchen, and Chad Wiseman played with the Rangers, Wolf Pack, and the Lowell and Albany Devils in the AHL.
Thanks for reading. Let's go Riveters.