Journey to the Labatt Blue NWHL Buffalo Believes Classic
Journey to the Labatt Blue NWHL Buffalo Believes Classic is a multimedia series created and presented by Kate Frese that offers fans exclusive behind-the-scenes access to an unforgettable and historic weekend from the perspective of the Metropolitan Riveters team and staff.
The journey is highlighted by the NWHL's first regular season outdoor game on Dec. 28, 2019 in Buffalo, NY — the Labatt Blue NWHL Buffalo Believes Classic. The series itself has four episodes that chronicle the Riveters' practices, travel and preparation for a weekend-long road trip unlike any other. It also includes actual game coverage from both of the Riveters' games against the Buffalo Beauts from that weekend. Episodes include interviews with players, staff and coaches about their preparation and experience playing in the NWHL's first official outdoor game.
Episode 1: "Central Park Practice" shows players practicing outdoor at Lasker Rink in Central Park in order to prepare for their impending showdown with the Beauts. It includes clips from practice, interviews, and photos from a chilly night playing hockey in the middle of New York City. Coaches walk us through their thoughts on preparing for a successful outdoor experience. Riveters forward Brooke Baker talks about her outdoor game equipment choices and play.
The second episode in the series, "Leading Up to the Game" is a behind-the-scenes look at what a road trip to Buffalo is like for the Riveters. It's more than just hopping on a bus. Viewers get a glimpse of night-before travel and game-day prep. Interviews include Riveters newcomer Nichelle Simon and Mike Gawbill, Hockey Operations, about the work they put into getting ready for the big event.
"The Big Outdoor Game," the third of four episodes is the main event. This episode includes more photos than videos of the big outdoor game, as they were the highlight of Kate Frese's coverage. This is a great episode for fans to get the opportunity to see more exclusive behind-the-scenes game-day coverage. The Riveters prevailed by a final score of 7-4 despite a four-goal third period from Beauts 2020 All-Star Winger Taylor Accursi.
The fourth and final episode of the series, "Sunday Rematch" wraps up the experience of a successful road-trip for the Metropolitan Riveters. An interview with fan favorite and captain of the team, Madison Packer, leads viewers into the game. Packer had a five-point game on Dec. 29 to lead the Riveters to a 6-3 victory, completing the weekend sweep of the Beauts. Game coverage and a weekend recap round out the series.
The Labatt Blue NWHL Buffalo Believes Classic took place at Buffalo Riverworks on Dec. 28, 2019. The game was a sellout with over 1,200 fans purchasing tickets to the event and thousands more watching the action streaming live on the NWHL on Twitch.
The Riveters will be on the road to play the Boston Pride on Monday, Jan. 20 at 1:30 p.m. ET. Tickets for that game and all upcoming Riveters home games are available at nwhl.zone/tickets.
Kate Frese is a Riveters team photographer and a freelance photojournalist who contributes to the NHL, NFL and NBA. You can see her work at www.katefrese.com and follow her on Twitter at @KateFresePhoto and on Instagram at kate_frese.
Photo Credit: Kate Frese