Photo by: Troy Parla
14-year-old Jennifer Moglia shares her story of finding a new favorite Riveters player in Miye D'Oench, and the special bond the two now share.
“Hey, you!” Whose voice was this, coming from the tunnel? As of December 4th, 2016, I had no idea. I was at my first New York Riveters game of the season, and although there were some familiar faces, I still wasn’t used to the players newest to the team and the league. I was accustomed to some of them...Packer, Fritz-Ward, Ketchum, Johnston.
Since my favorite player from the year before, superstar goaltender and actual angel Jenny Scrivens, had decided to retire, I was feeling a little lost and didn’t know who to watch. But, nonetheless, I cheered on all of the girls as they skated by.
As warmups came to an end, I heard the voice. It had to have been a player, since it was coming from the tunnel. I turned to my left and saw a face that I totally didn’t recognize. She smiled and slid a puck she had been playing with towards me through the crack separating the railing from the floor of the bleachers. “Thanks for coming!”
I was in total shock. I couldn’t stop turning the puck over in my hands and laughing out of pure happiness like a crazy person. I then proceeded to search up the roster and figure out who the puck was from. After scrolling for a few minutes, I found that it was Miye D’Oench. I did my research as I waited for the game to start and found out that she had spent 4 years playing hockey at Harvard and was new to the team this year.
Jennifer and Miye after a Riveter's game
Although the Rivs ended up losing in a shootout to the Boston Pride, it was a fun game. My dad got to see his favorite player, Captain Ashley Johnston, score, and the energy in the Barnabas Health Hockey House was crazy. After the game and the ceremony for Fritz-Ward’s final game, my dad and I stood in the autograph line as we always do.
A few of the girls complimented my Scrivens jersey and took pictures to send to Jenny. I also got to talk to Tatiana Rafter about my writing and how I’ve written about the NWHL (this has now become a post-game tradition of ours).
The highlight of this, however, was meeting Miye for the first time. I thanked her for the puck about a million times. I couldn’t stop telling her how unexpected it was and how much I appreciated it. She signed it for me, and it was on that day that she became my favorite NWHL player. Since then, I’ve gone to two more Rivs games, and they won them both. Miye even scored at one of them (February 19th, insane comeback win against the Whale). We’ve taken tons of pictures, and I even got her jersey (and she signed it!).
I don’t think I’ve ever met a player that has cared this much about their fans. Miye is always tweeting me and liking my tweets, and when I’m with her, she’s asking how I am and making sure I had fun at the game. She gives the best hugs, and she really shows how thankful she is for the support of her fans.
I’m never going to forget what she said to me as I left the March 12th game where the Rivs broke the Boston Pride’s winning streak. Everyone was ecstatic, and right before I left, she said to me “you’re the best number one fan I could have.” I totally didn’t happy cry all over my friend on the car ride home after hearing that.
I am so thankful for Miye, and it’s so crazy for me to think about how over the course of one hockey season, she has become way more than a favorite player. She brightens my bad days, she’s my role model, and I don’t think I’ve been happier than I am when she recognizes me at games. So, to Miye, thanks for everything...especially for re-signing with New York. Wearing your name and number on my back is an honor, and I can’t wait until next season so I can teach more people how to pronounce your name and see you kill it on the ice all over again.