PHOTO BY TROY PARLA
The Metropolitan Riveters have acquired Russian National Team goaltender Maria Sorokina from the Connecticut Whale in exchange for future considerations.
“Our coaching staff and team are excited to welcome Maria to the Riveters and to New Jersey,” said Riveters head coach Randy Velischek. “She is a proven goaltender with an international pedigree who will make our already deep and highly-skilled goaltending corps even stronger.”
Sorokina, 23, represented her country at the World Championships in 2015, 2016 and 2017. She 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.
When Sorokina signed with the Whale in September, NWHL Deputy Commissioner Hayley Moore called her “one of the top young goaltenders in the world.”
The No. 1 goaltender’s job in Connecticut was earned by Meeri Räisänen, who has been superb throughout the season for the Whale. Sorokina did not play for Connecticut, but she was able to display her world-class talent when the NWHL hosted its Goaltending Development Camp in Florida last month.
This trade provides Sorokina the opportunity to challenge Riveters goalies Katie Fitzgerald, Kimberly Sass and Sarah Bryant for playing time, and the Riveters with a chance to see if Sorokina can be a difference-maker for them heading into the playoffs.
Statement from Maria Sorokina:
“I want to start off by thanking the Connecticut Whale for the work. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to continue my journey in America. I wish the Whale and their fans good luck and good health.
“Thank you to the Riveters, Coach Randy, Hayley Moore with the NWHL, and everyone who took part in my trade. I did not want to miss the opportunity to play in this league. I was patient and put my trust in these people, and as a result I now have a chance with a great team, and I have been welcomed into a wonderful house with a wonderful family! I am really happy and am waiting for my first practice and the first game in a Riveters jersey! To the Riveters and our fans: I will try to justify your trust and each time put my heart on the ice in order to bring as many victories as possible.”