The Metropolitan Riveters have acquired Russian netminder Maria Sorokina from the Connecticut Whale in exchange for future considerations.
“Our coaching staff and team are excited to welcome Maria to the Riveters and to New Jersey,”Riveters head coach Randy Velischek shared in the league’s press release. “She is a proven goaltender with an international pedigree who will make our already deep and highly-skilled goaltending corps even stronger.”
This is the first NWHL trade since the Whale acquired Zoe Hickel from the Boston Pride on Feb. 7, 2017. This is also the second time that the Riveters and Whale franchises have swapped goaltenders. In the NWHL’s inaugural season, the Riveters sent Shenae Lundberg to Connecticut in exchange for Chelsea Laden.
The league’s press release stated that this deal will give Sorokina an opportunity to challenge Katie Fitzgerald, Kimberly Sass, and Sarah Bryant for playing time. This season, Fitzgerald, who was the MVP of the Isobel Cup Playoffs last year, has posted a disappointing .861 save percentage. Kimberly Sass has a .908 save percentage in her two starts and was in net for the Riveters’ most recent win. Sarah Bryant last saw NWHL action during the 2016-17 season.
Sorokina has yet to make her NWHL debut. In Connecticut it became clear that she was not going to get an opportunity to start while Finnish netminder Meeri Räisänen was playing at such a high level. Sorokina, 23, split the 2017-18 ZhHL season between Dynamo St. Petersburg and Agidel Ufa. In the 2016-17 season, she led the ZhHL with seven shutouts and posted a .926 Sv% in 34 games. Sorokina also won a bronze medal with Russia at the 2016 IIHF Women’s World Championship.
“Thank you to the Riveters, Coach Randy, Hayley Moore with the NWHL, and everyone who took part in my trade,” Sorokina shared in the press release. “I did not want to miss the opportunity to play in this league. I was patient and put my trust in these people, and as a result I now have a chance with a great team, and I have been welcomed into a wonderful house with a wonderful family! I am really happy and am waiting for my first practice and the first game in a Riveters jersey! To the Riveters and our fans: I will try to justify your trust and each time put my heart on the ice in order to bring as many victories as possible.”
The Riveters are 2-8-0 this season after winning the Isobel Cup in 2018.