By Dan Rice
On Saturday night when they step on the ice at Warrior Arena for their game against the Boston Pride, the Metropolitan Riveters will be playing a game for the first time in over a month. It will also be the fourth time this season that they tangle with the league leading-Pride in their first six games.
Boston has bested the Riveters in each of the three prior meetings by a combined score of 16-7, but the Rivs are the only team this season to actually have a lead against the Pride; they led for 3:54 in the third period of the season-opening game before Boston rallied.
At 9-0-0 this season the Pride have been steamrolling everyone. Boston has outscored the opposition by 36 goals, so the Riveters will definitely have their work cut out for them.
“We’ve had a month off to prepare for these big upcoming games against Boston and Connecticut, and it gave us time to work on our systems,” said rookie forward Brooke Baker. “Our team being a new team I think it was something we needed so we can get used to one another and start connecting more on the ice.”
Since their last game before the ‘bye month’ was also at Warrior Arena the Rivs have been working hard in practice in anticipation of avenging some losses in which they thought they deserved a better fate.
“Our team is excited to get back on the ice and face-off against Boston. Even though we’ve had a long ‘bye month’, we’ve kept this rematch close in our sights,” added second-year defender Cassie Dunne. “The Pride are a group of fierce competitors, and they bring a lot of speed to the game.”
“One positive about having this month off, surrounded by games against the same team, is that it gave us the opportunity to break down their play, and work on our system which is designed to shut down their game.”
Over the course of the season series thus far Boston’s top line has led the way with a combined 14 points: Jillian Dempsey (3 G, 3 A), McKenna Brand (2 G, 2 A), Christina Putigna (1 G, 3 A). The Riveters have been led by Kendall Cornine (3 G), Mallory Rushton (2 A), Madison Packer (2 G, 1 A), and Kate Leary (1 G. 2 A).
“During our layoff, Coach Ivo kept us on our toes with lots of battling drills, good skating, and system work. We are eager to get back out on the ice and play some hockey! Let’s go Rivs,” said Baker.
Following the matchup with the Pride the Riveters will head to Danbury, Connecticut on Sunday, (4:10 p.m.) for their first game of the season against the Whale. The Riveters game on Saturday against the Pride can be watched on twitch.tv/nwhl2 and Sunday’s game against the Whale can be seen on twitch.tv/nwhl.
“I can’t think of a better way to cap-off this ‘bye month’ than Thanksgiving and two games this weekend,” added Dunne.
Photo Courtesy: Kate Frese