Photo By Troy Parla
Where: Newark RWJ Barnabas Health Hockey House
When: Sunday January 7th, 2018 at 3:00pm
The Metropolitan Riveters (7-0-0, 14 points) have won the two previous meetings with the Connecticut Whale (2-5-0, 4 points) by a combined score of 9-1, but the games have been a bit closer than that. In week 5, Katie Fitzgerald stopped all 25 shots she saw in a 4-0 shutout win — including two key saves on breakaways by the Whale’s Juana Baribeau (0-0 early first period) and Kelly Babstock (2-0 Rivs, mid-second period).
The Whale lost their last NWHL game before the holiday break, falling 3-1 in Buffalo, but they won an exhibition game against the South Korean National Team, 4-1, on December 30. In the Rivs last game before the break, they picked up a win in Boston by a 4-2 score. On Sunday, you can watch the Riveters and Whale in the Twitter Game of the Week if you can’t make it to the Barnabas Health Hockey House in Newark, New Jersey.
All-Time Series: Riveters 6-6-1, Whale 7-5-1. The Riveters has won five straight games against Connecticut and three of the four shutouts in Riveters’ franchise history have come in games against the Whale.
Brick Wall Fitzy: The Riveters goaltender has two of her three career shutouts and is 5-2-0 in seven career starts against the Whale. This season Fitzgerald leads all NWHL goalies in: wins (7), minutes played (420), GAA (1.57), save percentage (.931), and shutouts (1).
Babstock Rocks: Over her three NWHL seasons Kelly Babstock has tormented the Riveters to the tune of 16 points (11g-5a) in 12 games. Six of those points (5g-1a) came in four road games last season - including a hat trick on December 11, 2016, in New Jersey. This season in two games Babstock is pointless against the Riveters, but she has nine shots on goal and won 21-of-42 face-offs. She is the NWHL’s active leader in career points (47) and leads the league in shots on goal this season (32).
This and That: With just 11 goals the Whale are the lowest scoring team in the league, but seven of those goals have come in the third period. Connecticut has had the least amount of power play opportunities (20, tied with Boston) and only has one power play goal this season (Jamie Goldsmith). The Riveters have the league’s best PK, allowing two goals in 23 chances. Courtney Burke has five assists in two games against the Whale, and Madison Packer had two assists in her season debut in the Rivs’ week 5 shutout of Connecticut.