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Behind the Glass: Walther nearly makes history

The Riveters and Whitecaps split ANOTHER weekend series

Michelle Jay

Behind the Glass is our weekly column collecting stories, stats, trends, and thoughts from the world of professional women’s hockey. The ZhHL regular season resumes next week on Jan. 14 with a two-game series between Tornado HK and Agidel Ufa.

Note: Stats accurate as of Jan. 7, 2020.


NWHL

  • Minnesota Whitecaps goaltender Amanda Leveille stopped all 34 shots she faced from the Riveters on Jan. 4 to earn her second shutout of the 2019–20 season. It was the fourth shutout of her NWHL career. Leveille is the first goalie to blank an NWHL team not named the Connecticut Whale this season. Her .926 save percentage is ranked third in the league behind Lovisa Selander and Victoria Hanson.
  • Beauts goaltender Mariah Fujimagari earned the first assist by an NWHL goalie in the 2019–20 season. She picked up a secondary assist on Erin Gehen’s goal on Saturday against the Boston Pride. Fujimagari is one of just three goalies in NWHL history to record a point in a regular season game. The other two are Jaimie Leonoff and Brittany Ott — who had two career assists with the Pride.
  • Pride rookie forward Tori Sullivan potted two power-play goals against the Buffalo Beauts on Sunday and finished the weekend with three goals and three assists. Sullivan now has goals in four straight games and has lit the lamp seven times in the last seven games for Boston.
  • Riveters goaltender Sam Walther came one save shy of tying Nana Fujimoto’s franchise record for the most saves in a game on Sunday with her 60-save performance against the Whitecaps. Walther’s performance earned her the nod as the first star of the game for the second time this season. She is now third in the league in wins (7) behind Selander and Leveille.
  • The Buffalo Beauts are currently riding a five-game losing streak, which has resulted in them slipping down into fourth place (6–9–1) in the standings. The Beauts have three wins in their last 10 games and lead the league in goals against. Fujimagari has allowed five or more goals in five of her last six starts.

SDHL

  • Luleå/MSSK obliterated Linköping on Friday in a 9–0 victory and finished the game with a 27-shot advantage. Defender Ronja Savolainen finished the game with four primary points — two of which were goals — and Petra Nieminen piled up five points of her own.
Ronja Savolainen with the snipe.
  • Team Japan’s Chiho Osawa scored her first goal of the season on Jan. 4 for Luleå/MSSK against Djurgården. Osawa, who has missed much of the 2019–20 season due to injury, now has three points in three games. Last season, she had eight goals and 10 assists in 36 GP.
  • Fanny Rask scored twice in the shootout to lead AIK to a 4–3 win over Leksand on Jan. 3. Rask finished the game with eight shots on goal, but did not pick up any points during regulation.
  • Brynäs IF goalie Ellen Jonsson finished the weekend with two wins and a .938 save percentage in two starts. Jonsson is second in the SDHL in wins (13) behind HV71’s Alba Gonzalo (18) and is sixth in the league in goals against average (2.06). Jonsson, 21, is in her seventh season with Brynäs and has improved from a .904 save percentage in 2018–19 to a .906 save percentage this year.
  • Team France’s Marion Allemoz, 30, had a primary assist at even strength and a power play goal in MODO’s 2–0 win over Djurgården on Jan. 5. Allemoz now shares the team lead in scoring on MODO with Katia Clement-Heydra. Despite missing three games, she leads MODO with 89 SOG and has been on the ice for more even strength goals for (17) than any of her teammates.

All data courtesy of NWHL.zone, sdhl.se, EliteProspects.com, or the author’s own tracking.

Disclosure: the author of this piece is currently employed by the NWHL.