NWHL Recap: Week 2

The Riveters remain undefeated and the Whale upset the Pride

Riveters stay undefeated, defeat Beauts 6-2

Riveters goals: Gruschow (2) | SH, D’Oench (2) | PP, Gruschow (3), Koelzer (1) | PP, Russo (2) | PP, Koelzer (2)

Beauts goals: Buie (1) | PP,  Accursi (3) | PP

The NWHL’s first Rochester outing ends in penalty-filled bout.

The Riveters came to play for a packed house Saturday night at Bill Gray’s Regional Iceplex in Rochester. From the opening whistle, they hemmed Buffalo in its own zone and threw everything they could at Amanda Leveille, eventually dominating the Beauts in shots 34-14. Metropolitan also displayed excellent specialty teams, with three of their six goals coming on the power play. Katie Fitzgerald wasn’t especially tested, but came through with a solid 12 saves on 14 shots.

For its part, Buffalo struggled to maintain presence in the offensive zone and on the puck, struggling to find their game after getting a few penalties early. Eventually, frustrations bubbled over, and the night ended in a flurry of fights and frustration, including a 10-minute misconduct on Lisa Chesson and two game misconducts on Sarah Casorso and Jess Jones. Final PIM totals had the Beauts at 46 penalty minutes (compared to the Riveters’ 18).

On the bright side for Buffalo, the Beauts’ power play came through strong, with two goals (Corinne Buie, Taylor Accursi) on nine chances. Accursi in particular had a very good game, with her line trying its best to pick up the energy and challenge the Riveters’ defense. Leveille was also a standout, making some beautiful saves late in the game despite being lit up for six goals.

Player of the Game

All of the penalties gave Kelsey Koelzer a chance to shine on the power play and during some 4-on-4 and 3-on-3 hockey. Koelzer scored twice (once on the power play, once at even-strength) for the Riveters, proving her prowess on both sides of the puck. All of the penalties gave Kelsey Koelzer a chance to shine on the power play and during some 4-on-4 and 3-on-3 hockey.

Whale upset Pride 2-1

Whale goals: Goldsmith (1) | PP, Fluke (1)

Pride goal: Schwarz (1) | PP

The Boston Pride are now 0-2-0. Yes, you read that right.

Pride head coach Thomas Poeck shook up his lines on Saturday and moved Megan Mangene to the blue line, likely in an effort to add some more puck movement to his blue line. He also moved Janine Weber up in the lineup. But unfortunately for Poeck and the Pride it wasn’t enough to get the offense going.

The Boston Pride grabbed their first lead of the season thanks to a Heather Schwarz deflection on an early power play opportunity. But the offense went quiet after that. The Pride got 15 shots on Rossman in the first period but only managed 14 shots in the second and third combined. So how did this game get away from the Pride?

Late in the second period Pride defender Paige Harrington delivered a knee-on-knee hit to Whale captain Sam Faber. Harrington earned a five minute major and a misconduct for the play and the Whale were quick to get their revenge on the extended power play. Goldsmith scored with 28 seconds remaining in the second period to tie the game. If you’re looking for a turning point from Saturday’s game, look no further.

Faber returned to the game in the third period and a big swing in momentum came with her. The Whale broke through midway through the third period when Kelly Babstock set up Emily Fluke for her first NWHL goal. That goal gave the Whale their first lead of the 2017-18 season and, ultimately, their first victory of the new season.

In addition to the primary assist she had on the game-winning goal Babstock had more than one-third of the Whale’s shots against the Pride and picked up two minor penalties. She now has two primary assists in two games for the Whale this season.

Player of the Game

Sydney Rossman has been outstanding in both of her starts but her performance on Saturday against the Pride was truly exceptional. The rookie netminder stopped 28 shots from the Pride and the only puck that got past her came while the Whale were shorthanded. Rossman finished the game with a .966 save percentage. She was lights-out.

Week 1 Recap