Photo By Michelle Jay
Team NWHL did itself, the league and its fans proud tonight.
Facing the U.S. Olympic Team after just one brief morning practice, Team NWHL kept the game scoreless through two periods before the Olympians took over in the third period to win, 3-0, on Saturday night at the national team complex in Wesley Chapel, Fla.
“The night was a success,” said Team NWHL head coach Chad Wiseman after the game. “As a coaching staff, we’re extremely proud of how the team represented the NWHL. Our confidence level grew as the game went on. In the second period, we were really generating chances. I think you’ll see an even stronger performance from them in the next game.”
Katie Fitzgerald was incredible in goal, stopping all 22 shots she faced in the first two periods, some of them spectacularly.
“Katie did her job and was fantastic,” said Wiseman. “She used her size, moved well, kept us in it in the first period.”
Kudos also to the collective team defense of Team NWHL, who battled for 60 minutes and blocked countless shots.
Team USA broke the scoreless tie at 2:08 of the third period on a goal by Gigi Marvin, the Minnesota native and member of the Boston Pride. Later in the period, the U.S. got goals from Amanda Pelkey (also of the Pride) and Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson. Maddie Rooney had the shutout for Team USA.
The second and final game of the series is Monday at 2:15 p.m. Brittany Ott will get the start for Team NWHL. On Sunday, the team will spend time in the early afternoon doing some light exercising and bonding. Wiseman and assistant Thomas Poeck and Lindsay Berman may juggle some of the line combinations and defense pairings.
“Tommy, Lindsay and I talked about this tonight – it’s an opportunity for players across our league to play with different players,” said Wiseman “Tonight, we went with familiarity in our lineup, but don’t be surprised if we mix things up on Monday.”
Team NWHL Lineup
Field – Dempsey – Trivigno
Russo – Gruschow – D’Oench
Jones – Babstock – Buie
Smelker – Lawler – Scamurra
Burke – Ryan
Picard – Koelzer
Gagliardi – Bender
Edney – Dosdall