The Metropolitan Riveters had a repeat of last week’s schedule, as they faced both the Boston Pride and Connecticut Whale again. The game against Boston was only the Rivs’ second home game of the season. They hoped to give their home fans a good show, and take a win against the Pride who were missing their starting goalie. Unfortunately, this did not happen and things turned sour as the Pride took the game 8-3.
Sunday, the Riveters took the trip to Danbury and nabbed another win over the Whale, 3-2. This game was a lot more evenly matched and not flooded with penalties as was the case with Saturday’s game.
Riveters’ rookie Kendall Cornine scored four goals on the weekend, solidifying her spot as All-Star Game representative for the team. She is now tied with two other players for the second-most goals this season. Worth noting is Cornine has played two fewer games than each of these other players.
A key issue for the Riveters was the holes in their lineup. They played Boston with five defenders, which was not a good idea. Nichelle Arnold moved over to play center, while Cassie Dunne and Anna Keys were noticeably missing. Both Dunne and Keys are integral pieces in preventing the Rivs’ opponents from scoring.
Much like last week, the Riveters were dominant for the first period against the Pride. At the end of one, the score was 2-1 Boston. The Riveters were matching Boston relatively evenly in puck possession and shots on goal.
Things took a turn for the worse in the second as Boston put a quick goal less than a minute in, and then scored four more in seven minutes. This was while the Riveters took rotations sitting in the penalty box. The total penalty minutes were 46. There was a lot of argument by head coach Ivo Mocek and fans as they thought the referees were calling far too tight of a game, especially given the score.
NWHLPA-head and Riveters color commentator Anya Packer even pointed out during the broadcast that we’ve seen a lot worse from this matchup. All things considered, it was a pretty mild game.
While Sam Walther got the start, backup goalie Dana DeMartino came in for the third period to relieve Walther as she was expected to start in Connecticut the following day. DeMartino faced eight shots and stopped them all.
Sunday was a little different. Both teams on the ice took far fewer penalties, despite three different injuries sustained by Whale players forcing them to the locker room. It was a relatively quiet, defensive game that allowed Cornine and Packer to connect for a handful of points and take home a win.
The Riveters will head to Minnesota for a two-game series against the Whitecaps much like they did to open their season. As I said then, the Minnesota team is nowhere near the same one we saw last season and beating them is entirely possible.
The biggest takeaways from this weekend – as far as the Rivs go – is that they play to their opponent. They tend to look extremely forceful against the Pride, but then struggle to get shots on a Whale team that hasn’t won a game in over a calendar year. This and the fire they showed in their overtime win against the Whitecaps earlier this season proves to me that they very well could take two wins on the weekend. Especially if they have their full defensive lineup and can stay out of the penalty box.