The Metropolitan Riveters open their season at their new home against the Boston Pride on October 5th at 4:30 PM. The Connecticut Whale will also host the Buffalo Beauts the same day just a state away. Both games mark the beginning of International Girls Hockey Weekend in the tri-state area. This partnership with the New York Rangers attempts to host Try Hockey for free clinics along with their games.
While that is an exciting time for many young girls in the area. As they’ll get the opportunity to play hockey and meet some pro players, gameday is likely going to be a trying time for the Metropolitan team. The Riveters – who went 4-12 last season – are opening their season against the league’s toughest team, the Pride.
Pride Looks Dominant
The Pride finished last season 11-5 and were just one game short of an Isobel Cup final appearance. Despite the massive overturn of players in the NWHL this offseason and the creation of the PWHPA, the Pride managed to keep some of their best players while adding even more depth.
Boston signed presumed starting goaltender, Lovisa Selander this offseason. For a team who was probably worried about filling the gap that Katie Burt and Brittany Ott left, they managed to nab the goaltender with the most saves in NCAA history. The 5-foot-11, 23-year-old finished her last NCAA season with a .942 save percentage and faced the most shots out of any college goalie. One thing I can say for sure is that we aren’t going to see a repeat of the Riveters’ 10-3 preseason win over LIU. Getting a puck passed Selander is few and far between. If it happens once, she will be sure to not let it happen again.
Along with a powerhouse in goal, the Pride brought back McKenna Brand, Kaleigh Fratkin, and captain Jillian Dempsey. This trio combined for 40 points last season. They will all be huge tests for the Riveters’ defense.
Players to Watch
Baker already has a hat trick in a Riveters jersey, though it was a preseason game. But I don’t think this will end from the rookie. Baker is one of three players out of RIT on the Riveters this season. So, that combined chemistry and her pure ability to get to the net, Baker is primed to be a big playmaker.
My early prediction for a breakout rookie season and maybe even an award or two is Kendall Corine. She alone had 17 SOG against LIU (of the Riveters’ 66). She’s top line material and already is who I trust the most to try and get one over on Selander. She will get the time on ice to make it happen and has the skill to.
Not only will this be an interesting story as Shatalova will make her mark as the youngest NWHL player to start a game. But, she is also a Russian powerhouse who may be quick to overlook. From what we saw in the preseason game against LIU, Shatalova had her hands all over the puck no matter who she on the ice with. It’s only a matter of time before she can score and score big.
As far as projected lines go, I could try and make a prediction. However, we truly have no idea what changes will be made. Every time we’ve seen the Rivs this preseason, they have looked different so I won’t bother. All I know is Packer and Cornine will be together on the top line, and Walther should start in goal.
I predict the Riveters to take their first loss this season, 3-1. The Pride just have a bit more of a well-put-together team. The biggest takeaway from the Riveters’ preseason game for me was, despite scoring 10 goals, the team took a lot of unnecessary penalties. They need to play together more to work out some kinks they had. That one goal the Riveters get by Selander? Packer to Cornine, book it.