The puck drops at 3:30 this afternoon for the Riveters first game since their journey to Japan and their three game exhibition series against Nana Fujimoto's national team.
The Riveters will be looking to build off of their shootout loss to the undefeated Connecticut Whale by picking up a win today on the road in their first visit to the HarborCenter in Buffalo, New York. A record of 2-5-1 halfway through the season is hardly what New York had in mind to start off their inaugural season, but they will be guaranteed a spot in the playoffs regardless of their record and their hunt for the Isobel Cup. The time for the Rivs to right the ship and figure out how to generate some offense and puck possession is now.
Brooke Ammerman, Taylor Holze, and Erin Barley-Maloney are expected to be out of the lineup today for the Riveters. Nana Fujimoto, who returned to the ice for the Riveters' series against Smile Japan on the other side of the planet, is expected to dress and start for New York this afternoon. It will be interesting to see what the lineup looks like tonight and whether or not we will once again see the Riveters dress six defensemen. Amber Moore scored a big goal in the series against Japan and should be given a go this afternoon against the diminutive Beauts lineup.
The Riveters struggled to stay out of the box against the Beauts the last time these two teams met thanks largely in part to New York's size and natural tendency to play a tough, physical game in front of the net, along the boards, and in the corners. Today's contest may very well be decided by special teams and given how much the Riveters have struggled to score on the power play, they would do well to stay out of the box at the HarborCenter.
Will the Riveters find a victory on the road today as a late Christmas present to their fans or will they continue on their disheartening losing streak? We're about to find out. The puck drops at 3:30 and will be streamed, free of charge, on NWHL.co.
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Thanks for reading, let's go Riveters!