Gruschow now has four career points (3g-1) in four career playoff games, including the only goal in the Isobel Cup Final last March.
The goalie that the Riveters beat in that game, Amanda Leveille, is now the Whitecaps starter, who finished the regular season in a tie for the league-lead in wins.
“Hopefully we figured a couple of things out by now (about Leveille), and hopefully not the other way around,” said Miye D’Oench, who like many of her teammates, will be playing her third playoff game in three seasons against Leveille. “She’s a great goalie and we have to get in front of her, that’s the biggest thing.”
At the other end of the ice, Katie Fitzgerald has been fantastic over her last four starts. “This team definitely feels like previous Riveters teams, especially in the locker room, things like that,” said the Riveters goalie following the win over the Whale. “We just have good vibes and everyone has good energy so it’s really good to see that all coming together in the home stretch here. We’re hoping to carry that into this weekend on the way to Minnesota.”
In the two consecutive wins to end the season and start the playoffs, Fitzgerald surrendered the first goal early, but bounced back to shut down the games and earn the wins. But in true goalie fashion, she gave a heap of praise to her teammates. “Not the start we or I wanted but luckily all of our forwards and defenders picked me up after that and tied it up. We really battled back, gritted our teeth, and pulled out a win,” she said. “It was nice to see us really just play resilient hockey again. That’s something that we did a lot in the past and kind of got away from this year. It’s really good to see us getting that grit back.”