While the holiday break isn’t the true mid-point of the season, the two-week break is a good time to take a look at how the NWHL season is going thus far!
After delaying the draft from the summer, the 2018 Draft was held just before the holiday season. Spread over two days — rounds one and two on the first day and rounds three through five on the second — 25 NCAA seniors were drafted.
The struggling Riveters have been one of the biggest storylines of the season. The reigning Isobel Cup Champions have looked lost, struggling to put anything together. In 10 games, they’ve only scored 17 goals while giving up 39. To put that into perspective, the Whale have 12 goals in seven games. With only six games left, it’s going to be an uphill battle for the Riveters. They are running out of time to find their game and get their swagger back.
The Whale might not have the record they were hoping to have at the holiday break, but there is a lot of momentum building in Connecticut. It’s still early, but the Whale have a new core group emerging that has been leading the team. Katerina Mrázová, Meeri Räisänen, Nina Rodgers, and captain Emily Fluke have all been exceptional.
The Beauts made a huge splash right before the holiday break when they fired their long-time coaches Ric Seiling and Craig Muni. General manager — and now interim assistant coach — Nik Fattey pinned the firing on the team’s lackluster record. At the time, Buffalo was 3-3-0 with losses against the Whitecaps and Pride. Will interim head coach Cody McCormick be able to unlock the Beauts’ scoring depth in the New Year? We’ll soon find out.
The Whitecaps started the season off undefeated. The expansion team looked unstoppable. Then the Pride swept into St. Paul. With an unconventional team structure (a few players don’t travel) and the only team to play all two-game weekends, we’ll have to see if the Whitecaps crash back to earth or continue their rise.
Right now the Pride are the team to beat. They are riding a three-game winning streak that includes a recent series sweep against the Whitecaps in Minnesota. Boston is on top of the standings, they have the best power play in the league by a mile, and Katie Burt looks like the real deal.