By David F. Pendrys
NORTHFORD,CT- The NWHL entered the holiday break with a close match up between the New York Riveters and Connecticut Whale ending in a 2-0 victory for the Riveters. The only even strength goal of the game came early in the first off the stick of Courtney Burke. The other tally came off an empty net score late in the third after Madison Packer put it in despite Nicole Kosta basically knocking her to the ice.
Both teams were understaffed going into the game, though the Whale perhaps were at a larger disadvantage without a core of their players missing due to the USA v. Canada games underway. Kelly Babstock was also suspended for a hit on the Riveters the week before and Ivana Bilic had departed from the team as well. The Riveters were without Amanda Kessel who was at USA v. Canada and also Morgan Fritz-Ward (who had retired.). This led to Whale GM Lisa Giovanelli Zuba taking some shifts on the ice even, as the Whale only could deploy 4 D and were running short shifts with who they had left.
Riveters Goalie Sojung Shin picked up her first shutout in a Rivs uniform stopping all 27 Whale shots. Whale Goaltender Nicole Stock stopped 16 of the 17 shots she faced and the other shot was the empty netter.
With the loss the Whale fall to 4-5-0. The Riveters rise to 3-5-0-1-1. Both teams have 8 points for second place leading 4th place Buffalo by one point.
Whale Captain Molly Engstrom discussed the game and the team a day before her exit from the NWHL was announced.
Lisa Giovanelli in addition to discussing her appearance mentioned some efforts the Whale are engaged into draw in more fans.
Larger versions of the photos at the Facebook page.