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2018-19 NWHL Preview: Player roundtable

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6 questions with a player from each team.

Ahead of the 2018-19 season, The Ice Garden asked a player from every team the same set of six questions via email. These are their responses.

Season preview

What do you think your team’s greatest strength is?

Emily Fluke (Whale): Our work ethic and our depth. In just a few practices and two preseason games it is already evident that we have players who are ready to work every day. Additionally, I believe goals/points are going to come from all over and everyone on the team is capable of being a scoring threat.

Michelle Jay

Kate Schipper (Whitecaps): Due to the fact that a lot of Whitecaps players have played together in the past on different teams, I think our greatest strength is our teamwork and the relationships that we have already formed with each other.

Kaliya Johnson (Pride): We are so fast! Practices have been great so far and to see the speed we are capable of playing at is great. It is really going to be a fun year.

Corinne Buie (Beauts): Our team’s greatest strength is not only do we have a bunch of highly skilled players, but we’ve got a lot of good people as well. Everybody is working towards the same goal of winning the Isobel Cup.

Kelly Nash (Riveters): I think our leadership with having two of our captains from last season returning for this year is one of our biggest strengths. On the ice, I think it’s pretty well known that Fitzy makes a huge, positive impact to our team, as well as our D corps in general, which helps us go into every game with a good amount of confidence.

Which new teammate(s) are you most excited to play with and get to know on the ice?

Fluke (Whale): Honestly, I am excited to play with all of my new teammates. We have a great group of returning core players and all of the new players bring great energy and talent. We have an exciting mix of NCAA standouts and international stars that I’m excited to continue to play with and learn from.

Amanda Boulier as a Whale. She’ll be a Whitecap this season, moving from underwater to the top of it.
Al Saniuk

Schipper (Whitecaps): Because there are so many Minnesota girls on the team, I am most excited to get back on the ice with girls that I haven’t played with in a few years. I am also excited to play with Kendall Coyne Schofield and Amanda Boulier.

Johnson (Pride): I’m excited to play with Denisa [Křížová]. I have always played against her, never on the same team. I know how good she is from playing against her the last few years so I am excited to be on the same team as her. She’s a very smart player and has great patience with the puck. A great addition to the team and I am very excited to get going.

Buie (Beauts): There’s not one specific teammate that I’m looking forward to playing with, but I think everybody brings something to the team. I’m really excited to try different line combinations with the new girls and play in our first game this weekend.

Nash (Riveters): Not gonna lie, I’m a big fan of all of our new teammates. They’ve already shown how willing they are to work on the ice in practices and in games, and really think they mesh well with our team culture and dynamic off the ice. I wouldn’t tell her this myself and give her too much credit, but I DID enjoy playing some shifts and PP with [Audra] Richards.

What is your most memorable moment from your NWHL career to date?

Fluke (Whale): Scoring the game winner in the shootout against Boston last season. I had a huge group of family and friends in the crowd and I’ve never gone in a shootout before. Still can’t believe it went in! Currently 100% in shootouts haha.

Buffalo Beauts Forward Corinne Buie is pumped after scoring what would end up be the game-winning goal of the Isobel Cup Finals against the Boston Pride.
Al Saniuk

Schipper (Whitecaps): Seeing as this is my first season with the NWHL, I think my most memorable moment so far has to be participating in the NWHL All Star Game last year as a representative on the Whitecaps.

Johnson (Pride): Most memorable moment so far has been able to play in front of my family. To have my mom, who is a former professional basketball player, watching me play professional has been amazing. Between her and my boyfriend [a New York Mets pitching prospect], I am surrounded by the most amazing athletes I know and to have them in the stands supporting me has been amazing.

Buie (Beauts): Definitely winning the Isobel Cup in Buffalo against my old team and scoring the game-winning goal is my best moment in my career.

Nash (Riveters): Hands down winning the Isobel Cup, specifically with last year’s team. After being out of the game for a decent amount of time while focusing on my coaching career, I couldn’t have asked for a better group of people to play alongside and be a part of a team with again.

Alexa Gruschow, Courtney Burke, and Kelly Nash.
Pat McCarthy

Slap Shots

Three words to describe your style of play

Fluke (Whale): Relentless, competitive, passionate

Schipper (Whitecaps): Fast, strong, competitive

Johnson (Pride): Relaxed, fun, speed

Buie (Beauts): Fast, hard working, strong

Nash (Riveters): Creative, skilled and fun

What’s your pump up song?

Fluke (Whale): Always changes, but right now Burn the House Down-AJR

Schipper (Whitecaps): Run the World, Beyonce

Johnson (Pride): Best Life - Cardi B. Obsessed with Cardi B these days

Buie (Beauts): Whatever my team is playing in the locker room

Nash (Riveters): Supplies by Justin Timberlake

What’s your post game meal?

Fluke (Whale): Steak, mashed potatoes, and green beans, rarely ever happens but if I was to pick a favorite post game meal this would be it.

Schipper (Whitecaps): Typically a sandwich or something light

Johnson (Pride): Carbs Carbs Carbs. Honestly I will eat anything, but you most likely find me eating some form of a carb. Carb Queen as they say

Buie (Beauts): Anything and everything that is near me I will eat

Nash (Riveters): Shrimp or salmon with some kind of veggies and pasta/rice

Overtime

The idea behind this was that one player from every team answered the questions, but we had a bit of a mix up and Kiira Dosdall also answered. Here are a few of her funnier answers.

What is your most memorable moment from your NWHL career to date?

Can I enter a giphy here of me tackling Katie Fitzgerald at the buzzer of the Isobel Cup Final?

What’s your pump up song?

[Rebecca] Russo’s musical rendition of the starting lineup

What’s your post game meal?

REDD’s Biergarten food and one of legend Bray Ketchum’s Upwild protein drinks.