The New York Riveters (0-2-0) will be looking for their first win as they host the Connecticut Whale (2-0-0) tonight at Aviator Sports & Events Center. The puck will drop at 7:00PM in a rematch of the first NWHL game which was played between these two teams in Connecticut on October 11. The Whale defeated the Riveters 4-1 with goals from Jessica Koizumi, Kelli Stack, Shiann Darkangelo, and Kelly Babstock in that game and goaltender Jaimie Leonoff was stellar, surrendering only one goal from the stick of Brooke Ammerman despite facing 36 shots. Connecticut went on to another 4-1 victory in their second game, this time against the Buffalo Beauts. Meanwhile, the Riveters were handed a tough 7-1 loss against the Boston Pride which they will be looking to put behind them.
The Riveters will need to focus on two key aspects heading into this game. The first will be to limit their penalties which have gotten them into trouble in the previous two games. As the most penalized team in the league through the first two weeks, the Riveters have been unable to sustain any consistent pressure in the offensive zone. Despite their penalty kill performing exceptionally well, the team cannot expect to win games while being shorthanded so often.
The other factor to look for in the Riveters game is a simple one which has been lacking, and that is to score some goals. Through two games, New York has only been able to put the puck in the net twice, although in reality it is more likely to have been three times. The grinding style of the Riveters is conducive to the makeup of the roster, but at some point they need to start generating sustained offensive pressure and that role falls on the shoulders of players such as Ammerman, Belyakova, and Weber. Look for the Riveters to come out of the gate quickly and enforce a competitive style following their game against the Pride in which head coach Chad Wiseman called out their compete level.
Treat this as your game thread for the night. The stream for the game can be found here at NWHL.co starting a few minutes before game time. Let's go Riveters!