Ahead of this weekend’s matchup against the Metropolitan Riveters, the Whale had not won a game since December of 2018. A calendar year which included 25 games, and the Connecticut team had only collected three points. These coming in games they had managed to force overtime and win 4-3.
My prediction of the Riveters taking a ‘safe’ win over the Whale was proven very wrong. As they not only hung with the Rivs but forced overtime and beat them.
The Twitch chat was abuzz with fans all pulling for the underdog to finally snap their losing streak. And after a major penalty handed out with just three minutes left in regulation, their wish came true.
In other news around the league, Sunday’s Pride matchup against the Whale had a sold-out crowd. At the same time, the Minnesota Whitecaps and Buffalo Beauts had a record-breaking 13,000 Twitch stream viewers. This is a great sign for a league attempting to grow and grab the attention of more sponsorships and higher salaries.
The Boston Pride also dubbed it ‘Denna Day’ in honor of Denna Laing who is a former Boston Pride skater. Laing was injured in a cross-league outdoor game in the inaugural season of the NWHL. Just as fate would have it, her younger sister Lexie Laing, scored.
The Riveters did get on the board early with a goal from the team’s leading-scorer, Kendall Cornine. Sarah Schwenzfeier was able to tie it up for the Whale. This was followed by Kendra Broad getting her first goal of the season to put the Whale up 2-1 after two periods.
Cornine scored once more to keep the Riveters in it on a pass from Madison Packer, which is typical for the top line. With just two minutes left in the game, Brooke Avery gave the Riveters the lead. But, this did not last long.
Hanna Beattie tied the game up once more and forced overtime. With just three seconds left in the game, Riveters forward Mallory Rushton was handed a five-minute major penalty and ejected from the game for an apparent checking from behind. Because of this, the Whale would receive a near full overtime power play.
In a league with very subpar officiating, I’ll leave the call up to you to decide. But I have a hard time calling that anything more than a minor penalty at most.
It is hard to say whether or not the Whale would have pulled out a win regardless, but this caused a massive shift in the game and ultimately handed the Riveters a loss.
The Riveters will technically have a bye week next weekend. But will play a special one-game matchup against the Boston Pride on Martin Luther King Jr. Day in Boston. While it is not official, the game is at 1:30 PM and will most likely be offered as a game marketed towards kids for a ‘kids day.’
This game will be streamed on the NWHL Twitch channel as always.