The Metropolitan Riveters season hasn’t gone as planned, no doubt, but that doesn’t mean there haven’t been bright spots and great stories within the team. One of the team’s final off-season signings was that of Hungarian National Team star Fanni Garát-Gasparics and she turned out to be one of the Rivs’ top (and most consistent) players with ten points (4g-6a) in 18 games.
Her strong start to the season earned a trip to the PHF All-Star Game in Toronto for Team World - made up of all of the league’s international stars. While she didn’t take home the MVP award, Garát-Gasparics had a fantastic performance with a hat trick vs. Team USA and another goal against Team Canada.
Following the Riveters' first game after the All-Star break - a game that saw the Hungarian speedster score the team’s lone goal in regulation, we caught up with Garát-Gasparics to find out about her amazing weekend and more.
The Ice Garden: Are you still on a bit of a high after coming back from the All-Star weekend?
Fanni Garát-Gasparics: Yeah I am, and I’m trying to take some of that confidence from last weekend into the rest of our season. It was amazing, and one of the best hockey experiences of my life. I’m just trying to bring that energy back to my team and help us to win games.
Proud to add two more sticks to the @HockeyHallFame’s historic archives and build their collection of prestigious @PHF items. These are All-Star game used and generously donated by 🇨🇦 MVP @LorenGabel of @TheBostonPride and four-goal scorer @FanniGarat of the @Riveters 🇭🇺 pic.twitter.com/OjbN0wGjzQ— Paul Krotz (@Paul_Krotz) January 31, 2023
TIG: What was your reaction when you were told that the Hockey Hall of Fame wanted your stick?
FGG: Of course it’s amazing, they already have my helmet from the 2021 World Championships so soon all of my equipment from my hockey life will be there, HAHA! No, just kidding!! Scoring four goals at the All-Star Game was unbelievable and then I got a message that they wanted my stick to take to the Hockey Hall of Fame. I couldn’t say no.
TIG: You were one of the last players signed by the Rivs, but didn’t have any training camp time with the team. What has this season been like from your perspective and how has the transition gone?
From Fanni's Instagram account! pic.twitter.com/szhKmfemsa— Steph (@reni_minestrone) February 4, 2023
FGG: I feel like I found it (my place on this team) pretty quickly; it wasn’t hard because the team is super nice and everyone is so supportive and motivating, the atmosphere at our games is good. It was really easy for me to adapt to the environment and it was easy for me to find my place on this team.
We had the World Championships during the summer, so I worked out all summer for that to be in shape for the end of August and the beginning of September. I got an invitation to come to play here a little bit after that, but this was an easy decision to make to come here. Now I have a bunch of new friends and it feels like a family here.
It is (a bit of an adjustment living here), you know for me living in another country is not new though. I lived in Russia for five years while playing pro there. New country, yes, it’s a little different, but I’ve also been to the US before for holidays so everything is not totally new for me. Living here is of course another thing, but maybe my biggest issue is not having a car here, you can’t get to some places if you don’t have a car.
TIG: What were your impressions of the PHF before joining it?
FGG: Of course, I have heard of this league before, it’s a big thing like the women’s NHL, and NHL is the best league in the world. When I played in Russia I talked to a couple of girls who had played here before when it was less developed. But now it has improved a lot - more teams, more games, and more money obviously hahaha. This league where it's at now is really good I think, and I feel like in the next few years this league will grow a lot.
TIG: Would you like to come back for another season here, with the Riveters or another team?
FGG: I’ll leave that open for discussion, for now. Being away from my husband for such a long distance - it’s not easy. This is a thing we have to talk about and go over in the summer to find the best situation for us for next year.