Our fourth place finisher in rookie voting is the lone goalie to crack the top five: Sydney Rossman! Rossman was a key successful component of a young Connecticut Whale team.
Continuing with the Whale tradition of signing former Quinnipiac Bobcats, Rossman joined the team after being picked by the Whale the fifth round (19th overall pick) during the 2016 NWHL Draft.
“It was a really cool thing to get the contract offer to join the Whale and the NWHL...I was hoping to play for the Whale this upcoming season, but it wasn’t a reality until I got that email. It’s really great to continue my hockey career at a high level,” stated Rossman in her signing presser.
Rossman did indeed continue playing hockey at a high level. Starting all 16 regular season games, she stood strong in between the pipes as a multitude of high-talent shots came flying at her. Despite her 3-12-1 record and stat line of 3.14GAA / .885 SV%, Rossman belongs in the MVP list because of the quality and timing of her saves. Without Rossman saving nearly a goal every two minutes, the final score for the Whale would have been very different.
The Whale depended on Rossman to make some huge saves in net and keep them afloat mid-game. Whether she bailed out her defense’s collapse in coverage or faced down odd-man rushes, Rossman had spectacular saves and composure her rookie season.
For instance, look at Rossman surviving the Buffalo Beauts’ onslaught. Despite some slick moves and Sarah Casorso crashing the net, Rossman manages to move post-to-post to absolutely rob the Beauts in a close game. The Beauts would end up winning 2-1, but Rossman was the one to keep it a one-goal game.
Rossman’s presence in net for the Whale is one of the brightest spots in their season and future. She will continue to succeed and elevate her game in the league.