The Metropolitan Riveters will return home with two losses after a weekend at Warrior Arena, where they could not take down a still-undefeated Pride team. The first game on Saturday night ended with a 7-2 score, while the game on Sunday was a little bit more evenly matched, with a final score of 5-3.
The Boston Pride are now 7-0 on the season, while the Riveters sit in fourth place at 1-4, their one win being last week’s overtime match against the Minnesota Whitecaps.
First and foremost, Riveters’ goalie Sam Walther faced 107 shots this weekend. One hundred and seven shots. In two games. The fact that she gave up 12 goals across two games seems far less significant when you consider how much she was left hung out to dry. Especially considering seven of them across both games were power play goals on Boston’s part.
The Pride had fourteen different players collect points this weekend, while the Riveters don’t even have that many players with at least one point on the season. That puts the perspective on how well the Pride is playing as a team, but also how compact the portion of Rivs’ players who are excelling is, which is going to be a problem for them going forward.
Despite this, Packer picked up one more goal on Sunday, leaving her trailing Pride captain Jillian Dempsey on the all-time scoring list by just one goal again. Packer is also leading the team in points, with six after this weekend, and can claim the NWHL all-time record in power play goals as she got her tenth in Sunday’s game.
Things got out of hand quickly and consistently between these two teams who, in total, served 58 minutes of penalties across both games. Once again, the penalties became the driving point of the game. The difference-maker was that Boston was able to capitalize on most of their power plays.
Tatiana Shatalova, the twenty-year-old Russian rookie for the Rivs, nabbed her first NWHL point, making her both the first Belarus-born player, as well as the youngest player ever, to get a point in the league. In addition, Kate Leary has five points in four games and Kendall Cornine is on a point per game pace. The point is that there are some offensive bright spots, but they are overshadowed by drastic defensive mistakes, and that is what will make or break this team going forward.
The NWHL will take a two-week hiatus, and unfortunately for Riveters’ fans, their second bye week will follow so we will not see any Riveters games until Nov. 30. However, this leaves a lot of time for the team to work on their penalty kill, as well as sharpening up the things that are causing so many penalties in the first place.
It’s obvious that is the key issue with this team. A game against the Pride in which they gave up three power play goals would seem a lot closer if they weren’t collecting so many cross checking penalties in a game.
The Riveters head back to Boston at the end of November to face the Pride again and they are hoping to wipe the slate clean and finally collect a win. In the meantime, the Beauts, Whale, and Pride resume NWHL play Nov. 16 and 17, and those games can be streamed on the NWHL Twitch account.