PREGAME: Riveters Try to Change Their Game at Midseason Mark

Dana Trivigno and Madison Packer face off in the Riveters’ first meeting with the Pride this season. – BDZ Sports

After another tough loss to the Whale last weekend, the Metropolitan Riveters are looking to salvage their season as they host the Boston Pride for the first time this season. One of two wins this season have come against the Pride when the Riveters took a trip to Boston. It’s Katie Fitzgerald’s only win, but she will not get the start this time around, as head coach Randy Velischek announced.

Instead, he will rely on Kimberly Sass, who took the Rivs’ only other win this season, a shootout over the Connecticut Whale. Along with a goalie change, Velischek has also announced some line switches. Instead of the usual top line of Rebecca Russo, Madison Packer, and Amanda Kessel, Russo will switch out with Miye D’Oench and play alongside Alexa Gruschow and Audra Richards.

This seems like an odd choice considering D’Oench definitely lit a fire under Gruschow in her return to the Riveters. And it’s no secret that Kessel and Russo are a powerful duo when on the ice together. However, at this point in the horrifying season for the Riveters, something needs to change.

Kelsey Koelzer will also remain a scratch with her lingering lower-body injury, leaving even less to the Riveters defense.

This is the Riveters first game since NWHL All-Star Game rosters were announced, in which Rebecca Russo and Katie Fitzgerald were uncharacteristically left off of. The Riveters are sending only five players, which is tied with the Whale for the least amount of roster spots. Hopefully, this will give the newfound underdog-Riveters the edge they need to change their game.

While Boston did lose to the Riveters earlier this season, they’ve since swept the powerful Minnesota Whitecaps with a 12 goal weekend, so defeating them does not seem likely for a Riveters team that has only struggled this season. I sadly predict a 6-2 loss for the Riveters.

This game is the Twitter game of the week and can be streamed from the @NWHL Twitter at 2:00 p.m.

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