Photo By: Michelle Jay
September 10, 2018– Russian National Team goaltender Maria Sorokina, who represented her country at the World Championships in 2015, 2016 and 2017, is joining the National Women’s Hockey League. The talented 5-5 goalie has signed with the Connecticut Whale for the 2018-19 season.
Sorokina, 23, said her experience playing against NWHL teams in 2016 and 2017 while a member of the national team inspired her decision to sign with Connecticut.
“The first time I came here, as part of the Russian National Team to play matches against the NWHL clubs, I decided for myself that I should definitely try to get into this league,” said Sorokina. “I had very pleasant impressions, including the community where the Whale play. I'm ready to fight for the team and all the people involved in it to win the Isobel Cup.”
Sorokina played the previous four seasons in the Zhenskaya Hockey League in Russia, starting with Dynamo St. Petersburg and then joining Agidel Ufa in the middle of last season for their run to the league championship. In four games with Agidel Ufa, Sorokina had a 2.26 GAA. In 34 games with Dynamo St. Petersburg in 2016-17, she had a 1.58 GAA and .926 save percentage.
“Maria is one of the top young goaltenders in the world,” said Hayley Moore, the NWHL’s Deputy Commissioner and Director of Player Development. “We’re proud to have her join the NWHL and excited to see her play for the Whale this season.”
Sorokina played in 9 games in her three trips to the World Championships with Russia. At the championships in 2015 in Sweden, she generated media buzz in North America for her goaltender’s mask, which paid tribute to Rangers prospect Alexei Cherepanov, who passed away at the age of 19. At the tournament, she held Canada to one goal on 15 shots.
Sorokina is represented by Daniel Milstein of Gold Star Hockey, the agency that represents stars such as Pavel Datsyuk, Nikita Kucherov and Artemi Panarin.
“I would like to thank the management and coaching staff of the Whale for their trust,” said Sorokina. “I’m very hopeful for a successful collaboration this season! My decision to play in the NWHL came after a lot of careful consideration. I believe that the time we spend together will benefit both sides. I will do everything in my power to help the team achieve success, and I will have the opportunity to develop my skills, thanks to my coaches and new teammates. See you in October! Thank you all!”