The Metropolitan Riveters will have repeat matchups of last weekend, facing the Boston Pride on Saturday and the Connecticut Whale on Sunday. Some key differences are this time they will play one game at home, and one game without the best goaltender in the league.
The Rivs have only had one home game all season so far and it was a 4-2 loss to the Pride, much like last week’s 5-2 loss, where they were in it for a while but ultimately could not play a 60-minute game. They will head to Danbury on Sunday again hoping to take far fewer penalties with them.
Hope at Home
Like usual, I’ll say the Boston Pride look completely dominant and like every game should be an easy win for them. However, they are headed into the weekend without one key player, starting goalie Lovisa Selander.
Backup goalie, Victoria Hanson will get the start, and while she doesn’t have as much experience as Selander, she claims the only shutout in the league so far this season. It still won’t be an easy ride for the Rivs.
If the Riveters can add on to the power they had for the first two periods against Boston this time around, they have a fighting chance. They were able to score first on the Pride and hold a lead for a while. If the Metropolitan team can use some home-ice advantage and stay disciplined enough to keep out of the penalty box, they might be able to take down the undefeated Pride.
While the Whale should be an easy opponent and another win for the Metropolitan team, it definitely did not come easy last week. The score was only 2-1, with the Whale significantly outshooting the Riveters.
With nearly 20 minutes shorthanded, the Riveters made a lot of mistakes that could have cost them the game. They will also be facing a new goalie for the Riveters in Brooke Wolejko. This will be her first start for the team which seems odd, as Sonjia Shelly has been phenomenal in net and really kept the Whale in the game last weekend.
Players To Watch
‘The Wall’ as she has been dubbed is almost always putting up highlight reel-worthy saves, but this time I know she doesn’t want to play Boston without losing. The NWHL honored her with the ‘Sweet Save of the Week’ on a blocked shot against Boston last Saturday, and after facing 77 shots on the weekend she definitely deserved it.
She’s been quiet on the box score until last weekend, collecting two points. I think with a small fire lit under her like that, she can definitely find the back of the net sooner rather than later.
Leary had both goals against Boston last weekend and I’m sure would love to hit that mark again in front of a New Jersey crowd. With Packer beside her, I think she will definitely be the one to make Boston sweat.
I’m going to be optimistic…or just hope for a miracle and say the Riveters take this one against Boston 3-2, with Leary lighting up the scoreboard. I’ll say they round off the weekend with a win in Connecticut, 5-2 as well.
The first game will be streamed on the NWHL Twitch channel at 7:00 PM on Saturday and the second game will be streamed at 1:30 PM on Sunday.