PHOTO CRED: Troy Parla
The Connecticut Whale visited the New York Riveters this weekend for their second match of the season. The Riveters came out on top in the fast-paced game as goaltender Katie Fitzgerald led the team to a 4-0 win.
Riveters coach Chad Wiseman attributed the win to the Riveters’ dedication to the game despite what might be going on outside the locker room.
“There’s a lot of character in that locker room,” Wiseman said. “Last night, the message was, ‘Get in the rink, we’re playing a hockey game tomorrow.’”
The Riveters started out tentatively, but once they netted their first goal, their play changed. The Whale brought a lot of physical defensive play into the rink but the Riveters’ offense was motivated and ready.
Connecticut made many attempts to bounce back and grab a goal but were beat by the Riveters’ firm defense and incredible play from goaltender Katie Fitzgerald.
“[Fitzgerald] is a great kid and a great goalie.” said Wiseman. “She’s coming into her own and building confidence. She made a few really huge saves out there.”
Fitzgerald would finish the game with the goose egg on the board, notching the Riveters’, and her own, first shutout in the NWHL. Fitzgerald made several huge saves for her team, stopping all 26 shots she faced.
The Whale clearly elevated their play late in the second period and were determined to get on the scoreboard while the Riveters led them 3-0. Despite their attempts, Fitzgerald and the Riveters defense held strong.
“At that point I was happy with a win. We had three goals,” said Fitzgerald. “But everyone sold themselves out, everyone did what was necessary to get the job done.”
The Riveters are turning over a new leaf with their second win while the Whale are looking to recover from two straight shutouts.
“We played with a lot of confidence... We shot the puck, we went to the net hard and we capitalized,” said D Kaleigh Fratkin. “We struggled the first couple [games] because we couldn’t capitalize.
The Riveters earned two points this weekend and five this month as they go into the Thanksgiving break in second place behind the Boston Pride.
Next month the Riveters will look to continue their successful play. The Whale will be looking to break their goal-less streak and get back on track. The two teams will face off again on December 11th back in Newark