The Metropolitan Riveters will host the Connecticut Whale for the first time this season after beating them twice in Danbury earlier this year.
There have been a few changes to both teams’ lineups since their last meeting. Most of which coming on the blue line. Former Rivs captain, Ashley ‘Stretch’ Johnston, signed with the Riveters for the rest of the season. However, she is not scheduled to be in the lineup versus the Whale. Kelly Nash also signed with the team.
As for the Whale, just a day before this matchup the team signed two defenders to PTO contracts for the weekend. This includes RIT’s Brinna Dochniak and also Laurel Hill. Hill previously played 23 games in the Canadian Women’s Hockey League (CWHL) spanning two seasons for the Toronto Furies before the league’s folding.
No Wins for Whale
The Whale currently sits at an abysmal 0-14 headed into this game. The brightest part of their season was taking the Boston Pride to a shootout, though they ultimately lost. The Pride was also without three of their top skaters for that matchup.
Connecticut is posting below a 10 percent power play success rate and their top scorer, Kayla Meneghin, only has four goals and eight points. Meneghin is not slated in the lineup against the Riveters.
In spite of this, their goalie duo of Sonjia Shelly and Brooke Wolejko have more than made up for the lack of offense and defense. Both goaltenders have kept their team in it when otherwise, they’d be severely attacked. Together they are posting a .902 save percentage across their fourteen games.
Wolejko is set to start in goal, so the Riveters need to capitalize on moments of weakness in the Whale’s goaltending.
Players To Watch
Leary has 21 points in 10 games and hasn’t played a game without tallying at least one goal. She also has the highest-scoring percentage on the team. Leary is deadly when on the ice and facing a struggling defense like the Whale’s, she is going to have a good time out there.
If the upcoming All-Star game or the prospect of being a .500 team isn’t enough for Packer to be hungry maybe this will. She could tie or pass Jillian Dempsey’s all-time goal record ahead of their Martin Luther King Jr. Day matchup with the Pride.
The young forward has caused a snowball effect on offense so far this season. She started quietly on a struggling third line and has since made a strong name for herself. This by a shootout win, a game-winning goal in the Buffalo Believes Classic, and of course her one-game suspension for holding her ground when things got chippy. She came back from that suspension with a vengeance, and I think is ready to turn it up another notch.
The Whale haven’t won a game yet this season and the Riveters are on somewhat of a roll and looking to become a .500 team. Although Connecticut took an injured Pride team to a shootout and have two fresh defenders, I think the Riveters can take this one safely 4-1.