On the afternoon of Saturday, February 3rd, 2018, the Metropolitan Riveters of the NWHL lost their first game of the 2017-2018 season. This was also their first loss since the season before, a 4-3 final against the Boston Pride on Saturday, March 4th, 2017. If they lose their next game, it will be their first set of consecutive losses since January 21st and 27th 2017, the former being a 2-1 final versus the Buffalo Beauts. The Riveters’ loss on Saturday came against Buffalo as well, with the final score being 5-3.
The game began with a goal by Madison Packer late in the first period. However, they couldn’t make it out of the first 20 minutes unscathed, as Hayley Scamurra answered back for the Beauts. About halfway through the second, Corinne Buie scored, putting Buffalo up 2-1. However, they didn’t have the lead for long. The Riveters came back with Madison Packer’s second goal of the game on a 5-on-3 power play, tying up the score once again, followed by the Beauts scoring two unanswered goals. The last goal of the game was scored by Riveters’ fan favorite Harrison Browne, but the final push was not enough to secure a victory. Metropolitan fell to Buffalo 5-3.
But as Dr. Seuss once said, “don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” This 11-game stretch was filled with many great moments, from mind-blowing saves by superstar goaltender Katie Fitzgerald, to speedy shifts by the rocket-like Rebecca Russo, to watching the amazing two-way game of defenseman Courtney Burke continue to develop. A significant part of this streak was the first game of the 2017-2018 season, played at the Prudential Center, home of the NHL’s New Jersey Devils. The partnership between the two teams has already worked wonders for the league in general; as well as the Riveters, and will only improve as time goes on. Other memorable aspects include Alexa Gruschow’s rise to league-wide recognition (she leads the NWHL in points with 19), Kimberly Sass’s first NWHL start and first NWHL win against the Connecticut Whale on January 27th, Miye D’oench’s insane offensive production (before being sidelined by injury), and rookie Jenny Ryan making a name for herself through her dynamic style of play.
So Riveters fans, keep your heads up. There are still a few games left in the season, two of them being against the Buffalo Beauts, both at home. Next up is NWHL All-Star Weekend from February 10th-11th, followed by a home matchup against the Connecticut Whale. The Riveters will have seven representatives at the ASW; Katie Fitzgerald, Kelsey Koelzer and Rebecca Russo on Team Ott (led by Boston Pride goaltender Brittany Ott), Jenny Ryan, Courtney Burke, Michelle Picard, and Alexa Gruschow (led by Buffalo Beauts goaltender Amanda Leveille). There’s still a lot of NWHL hockey left, and it won’t be hard to enjoy it. #RepTheRivs!
What was your favorite part of the Metropolitan Riveters’ 11-game winning streak? Do you think they will regain their momentum after the All-Star Break? Let us know by tweeting us your thoughts @PuckItUpBlog on Twitter!
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