PHOTO BY TROY PARLA
Metropolitan Riveters goaltender Katie Fitzgerald made 40 saves and stopped three of four shooters in a 4-3 shootout win over the Buffalo Beauts that earned her team home ice for the No. 4 vs. No. 5 play-in game in the Isobel Cup Playoffs. For her incredible performance, Fitzgerald has been named the VEDA NWHL Player of the Week.
Fitzgerald is no stranger to coming up big in crucial games against Buffalo. Last season, she was named the Isobel Cup Final MVP after pitching a 1-0 shutout as the Riveters captured the title.
“Katie Fitzgerald is one of the hardest working athletes I have had the honor to coach,” said Riveters assistant coach Kate Whitman Annis. “She is the consummate professional on and off the ice. Her hard work and dedication paid off yesterday when she was the difference-maker in our game against Buffalo. She was peppered with shots from the moment the puck dropped and was brilliant all the way through the shootout. My fellow Riveters coaches are proud to see that Katie has been named NWHL Player of the Week.”
After allowing an early goal on Sunday, Fitzgerald shut down the Beauts for the remainder of the first period, turning away 13 shots in the frame, including a number of quality chances. It was more of the same in the second, as her highlight-reel saves enabled her team to erase a two-goal deficit and enter the second intermission with the score knotted at two.
Both teams scored in the third to force overtime, and Fitzgerald staved off a flurry of Beauts chances in the extra frame, sending the game to the shootout. She stopped Dani Cameranesi in the first round, but Maddie Elia scored in the second. Madison Packer answered with an astounding move for a goal for the Riveters. The Beauts had the ability to put the game away, but Fitzgerald slammed the door on Hayley Scamurra to keep the Rivs alive. Miye D'Oench then scored in the fourth round, meaning a save from Fitzgerald would seal the win. And Fitzgerald did not disappoint, stonewalling Taylor Accursi’s between-the-legs move.
Fitzgerald and the fourth-seeded Riveters will return to RWJBarnabas Health Hockey House on Thursday, hosting the fifth-seeded Connecticut Whale in an Isobel Cup Playoffs play-in game at 7 pm ET. Tickets go on sale now at NWHL.zone/tickets.