by Scott Charles
It might have taken four tries, but the Riveters finally captured their first win in franchise history, defeating the Boston Pride 3-2 at Aviator Sports and Events Center in Brooklyn.
Credit: Marwan Shousher
Credit: Marwan Shousher
New York’s goaltender, Nana Fujimoto, played the best game of her brief NWHL career, stopping 42 of the 44 shots she faced from Boston’s prolific offense.
“She was unreal,” Riveters’ alternate captain Morgan Fritz-Ward said after the win. “Even at practice she was unreal. Just to see her shine in the game was awesome. She kept us in it for sure.”
Everyone in the victorious Riveters dressing room could not stop raving about Fujimoto’s performance.
“She stood on her head,” Riveters’ defenseman Gabie Figueroa said. “It’s great for her to get a win like that.“
Boston’s co-captain Hilary Knight got the game’s first goal early in the opening period, when she was able to elevate a backhand past Fujimoto. However, the Riveters came roaring back; newly elected alternate captain Madison Packer got her first goal of the season after she retrieved her own rebound to even the score at 1-1.
Just 13 seconds after the Packer goal, Riveters’ forward Beth Hanrahan was able to sneak a shot passed Pride goaltender Lauren Slebodnick to put the Riveters on top for the rest of the evening.
“Goals have been hard to come by for us, so everyone is pretty excited when we put it in the net,” Packer said. “We all want to see each other do well and we are more concerned with the final result as opposed to individual statistics.”
Boston had plenty of opportunities to get back into the game, including five power play opportunities, but Fujimoto was able to slow down their high-powered attack.
“Special teams were huge factor,” Pride coach Bobby Jay said after Boston’s first loss of the season. “Obviously our power play, with the weapons we have, we need a little more out of it. I will take responsibility for that, we have to work on it more in practice.”
The Riveters penalty kill was one aspect that helped New York come away with the win, but it wasn’t just one individual that contributed, it was the entire roster.
“We won as a team and everybody deserved that win,” Packer said. “As a team everyone gave it everything they had tonight.”
Unfortunately, Emily Field, a member of the Pride, was injured in a collision during the second period of play. She was helped off the ice and treated accordingly by the medical staff.
The Riveters were obviously ecstatic after earning their first victory, but every player in that locker room knows the hard work begins now, with the road to the Isobel Cup ahead of them. The next Riveters game is a rematch versus Boston on November 22nd at the Pride’s home rink. Tickets are available now.