Last week, the 2018-2019 playing schedule for Metropolitan Riveters schedule was officially released, and season tickets are now on sale. I will not waste any time here. We are going to get right into the breakdown of the upcoming season. As usual, games are only on Saturday or Sunday.
The Riveters schedule is very heavy in October as they play six games, but only against two teams. Four of their first five contests are against the expansion Minnesota Whitecaps franchise. They will play back-to-back nights in Minnesota on the sixth and seventh. Two weeks later, both teams will travel back to New Jersey for another pair of matchups on the 20th (Riveters home opener) and 21st. They will also raise their championship banner to the rafters during the first home game.
The other team they face that month will be the Boston Pride on the 13th and 27th, both in Massachusetts. This is a very long month for Metropolitan as they only play two or three games in every succeeding month afterwards. Overall, with four road and two home games to start the season, this is going to be a good challenge for the team to see if they are ready to defend their Isobel Cup title.
They catch a break in November, only playing two home games that will both take place at the Barnabas Health Hockey House against the Connecticut Whale. As we know, the Whale finished fourth place last season, and recently lost their best player to the Buffalo Beauts. However, Connecticut made a good amount of interesting signings, and the Riveters might be seeing a more improved Whale team this coming season. The games take place on the 18th and 25th.
December also only sees two games against the Whale and Pride. The Riveters will head up to Connecticut on the second and Boston will come down to Newark on the ninth. This is how 2018 wraps up for Metropolitan, so they are going to need to finish strong and ideally walk away with two wins in these games.
The 2019 year has six games remaining for the ladies in red. It kicks off with the fourth (and final contest) against the Whale at Terry Conners Ice Rink. Afterwards, Metropolitan plays four of their final five games against their opponents from the Isobel Cup Final, the Beauts. January 12 is the first official rematch between the two teams, and will take place in Buffalo. If you want to get technical and say it is not an “official rematch” until a game is played in Newark, fine. That will take place on February 2.
My prediction: this is a very stacked schedule. It is not “shuffled” where they are playing a different team each week. They face many of the same teams in consecutive weeks. Sometimes that is just how it works in the NWHL. Overall, I like this schedule and think it is going to be a very competitive season for all five teams. Pick the Riveters to finish in first or second place in the standings once again.
They will have preseason action in Sweden as part of the “Champions Cup” with the SDHL, but that is a story for when we get closer to the event. It’s also worth noting the roster is not 100 percent figured out for the time being.
Be on the lookout for more Riveters news as this offseason continues.