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Pregame Notes & Game Thread: New York Riveters (2-5-0) vs. Connecticut Whale (7-0-0)

Nana Fujimoto is expected to return as the Riveters host the undefeated Whale tonight at 6:30 PM.

Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The New York Riveters will have their hands full tonight as they square off against the undefeated Connecticut Whale. The teams have met two times before, with the Whale skating away with wins by the scores of 4-1 and 3-1. However, the Riveters were a different looking team when those games were played.

NWHL Scoreboard

If you are attending the game tonight at Aviator Sports & Events Center in Brooklyn, be sure to join the Riveters and your fellow fans in wearing Ugly Sweaters and bring an unwrapped toy for the Toy Drive. The team has been remarkable with their charity events and they continue to do so tonight. Support them in their efforts to better the New York community during this holiday season.

Connecticut has played brilliant hockey, fueled by a potent offense with contributions from throughout their top lines and defense. The club has also benefited from stellar goaltending, particularly from Jaimie Leonoff, and have developed a penchant for staving off comebacks from their opponents. It is not necessarily the most reassuring trait, but they have been successful thus far in holding onto their leads.

New York is coming off of a tough loss to Boston in which they were outplayed in every facet. The Riveters remained in the game thanks to a stunning display by Jenny Scrivens in her starting debut, but the team's inability to control the puck and generate sustained offense led to their downfall. It will be interesting to see how New York responds in this game against a strong opponent, especially with the expected return of star goaltender Nana Fujimoto.

Nana Does the Splits

Nana Fujimoto (Photo: Mike Murphy)

The goaltending situation will be the highlight of the game tonight for both teams. The Riveters defense will have to find a way to keep Kelli Stack and company off of the scoreboard as much as possible, which is been proven time and again to be no easy task. In addition to this, New York will need to slip out of their scoring slump against the team that has surrendered the fewest goals, only 17, of any club in the NWHL.

Keep an eye out for Brooke Ammerman and Lyudmila Belyakova to lead the charge in generating scoring chances for the struggling Riveters. On defense, Ashley Johnston is always the leader for New York but pay attention to Kiira Dosdall on the blueline as well. She has played very well as of late and the Riveters would greatly benefit from some more production from their defense.

Treat this as your open game thread. Let's go Riveters!