Kendall Cornine Leads Riveters to Win Over Whale
By Dan Rice
After a tough 8-3 home loss the previous night to the league-leading Boston Pride, the Metropolitan Riveters (3-6-0) rebounded for a 3-2 win over the Connecticut Whale (0-9-1) Sunday afternoon in Danbury. Rookie Kendall Cornine was the hero in this one as her second goal of the game 11:22 into the third period was the difference-maker for the Rivs.
Just like last weekend, Riveters veteran Madison Packer opened the scoring in Connecticut, continuing her reign of terror against the Whale. The opening goal came 3:20 into the second period after a goalless opening 20 minutes. Packer’s goal came after Cailey Hutchison forced a turnover in the offensive zone and Kate Leary scooped up the loose puck and fed Packer for her fifth goal of the season.
The 1-0 lead for the Riveters lasted until 11:53 when Cornine found a loose puck atop the crease amongst a cluster of Whale players and shoveled it past Brooke Wolejko, who was making her first NWHL start. Packer picked up an assist on the play for her second two-point game of the season.
The Rivs almost carried that two-goal lead into the final period but Emma Vlasic scored a power-play goal for Connecticut on a nifty wrist shot with 1:03 left in the period. The goal was Vlasic’s fourth of the season and second in as many games against the Riveters.
The Riveters started the third period on a power play but 33 seconds into the period Kaycie Anderson had a breakaway from center ice and snapped a shot through Sam Walther’s five-hole to tie the game. The Whale nearly took the lead on another shorthanded chance seven minutes later but Walther shut the door on Grace Klienbach’s bid to give her team its first lead of the afternoon.
That set the stage for Cornine to continue the blazing hot start to her pro career. On the winning play, Rebecca Morse chipped the puck off the glass in her own zone and Cornine won a battle against the center-ice glass against Hanna Beattie. After skating away with the puck the rookie calmly glided into the zone and snapped a shot over Wolejko’s glove and under the crossbar.
The Riveters would have to kill off one more penalty in the period before securing their third win of the season. Walther wasn’t tested early but finished with 21 saves after surrendering eight goals in two periods to Boston less than 24 hours prior to the start of the game in Danbury.
Game Notes: Wolejko finished with 28 saves in her first start. Beattie and Elena Gualtieri had the assists on Vlasic’s goal. Cornine leads all rookies in goals, leads the Rivs in goals, and is now second in the league in goals; she has only been held pointless in two of nine games. Leary has a point in every game this season, as does Packer. Tatiana Shatalova led all players with 10 shots on goal and four different players had three shots on goal each for Connecticut. Vlasic led all players with four blocked shots and Hutchison won a game-high 18 of 30 face-offs.
MY 3 STARS OF THE GAME
1) Kendall Cornine (Rivs): 2 goals (9), GWG
2) Madison Packer (Rivs): goal (5), assist (6)
3) Sam Walther (Rivs): 21 saves, win (3)