Harrison Browne in front of the net against team Russia. Photo By: Matt Raney
In their final tuneup before the NWHL regular season begins the Metropolitan Riveters fell to Team Russia 4-0 as they now can turn their attention to the season opener at the Prudential Center against the Boston Pride on October 28. Team Russia entered the game with a combined 5-0 record against the Rivs, Connecticut Whale and Boston Pride in the Summit Series.
It didn’t feel like a 4-0 game, with somewhat equal chances for both sides, but the Russians buried their chances and the Riveters just missed a few times. Katie Fitzgerald stopped 19 of the 23 shots she faced as she played the whole game for the second preseason game in a row.
Every time the Riveters were stopped on a scoring chance Team Russia responded with a goal it seemed - which was also aided by the fact that they often had a player waiting in the neutral zone to spring on a breakaway.
After a scoreless first period, Anna Shokhina scored the first of her two goals over Fitzgerald’s glove hand on a slap shot/breakaway. Moments earlier at the other end the Rivs had a nice chance that was denied at the net, as Courtney Burke’s centering pass to Rebecca Morse was broken up by a defender.
Shokhina netted her second of the game when she converted a rebound past Fitzgerald just before the midway point of period two, and she also added an assist on her team’s third goal. Nadezhda Morozova stopped all 19 shots she faced in the shutout.
Defender Kelsey Koelzer had a great outing in the losing effort, with a team-high six shots on goal and 13 of their total shots on goal came via their blue-liners.
The Riveters open the season in six days when they tangle with the Boston Pride in a landmark game for the NWHL on the Prudential Center ice as part of a doubleheader with the New Jersey Devils.