The Connecticut Whale played a very strong game today against the Metropolitan Riveters; unfortunately, it was enough to earn them a point but not enough to seal them the victory. The good news is that there were a lot of positives to take from the game. The Whale did a much better job putting pucks on goal, having a shot total at the end of the game at 36. Their penalty kill was once again, really solid as the Riveters were 0 for 4 on the power play including one in overtime. The Whale are leading the league in Penalty Kill Percentage at 94.7 ahead of the Whitecaps and Beauts who also boast an over 90 percent PK rating. Last but not least, the already good puck movement was even better today. They look like they are building some great chemistry and look like they are turning the corner.
Here is a quick summary of the game. In the first period, the Riveters opened the scoring, a goal coming from Audra Richards. This would be her second game in a row where she would open up the scoring. Also all the goals she has scored this year have all been at home. Two minutes later, the Whale would get one back, a goal on the power play coming from girl-on-fire Katerina Mrázová and assisted by captain, leader, legend Emily Fluke. Unfortunately, with less than a minute to go in the first period, the Riveters would go ahead before the end of the period. Another goal coming from Audra Richards, and on this particular goal, it was the second assist of the game for Miye D’Oench, as this was the first game for her coming back from a campaign in Kentucky.
In the second period, it was all Whale dictating the play and getting both of the goals that came from the period. It was a little over half of the period played when the first goal came from Kayla Meneghin. It was her first NWHL goal and it came in her home state of New Jersey. The second goal of the period came while the Whale were shorthanded. It was Katerina Mrázová again who netted the goal on a beautiful feed from Michelle Löwenhielm.
The third period was good back and forth action, and it looked like the Whale were going to escape but with about nine minutes left to play, a crazy bounce off the boards and Audra Richards again got the goal, banking it in off of Meeri Räisänen. This was Richards’ third goal of the game giving her the hat trick.
Overtime had some exciting action in it too. Each team had some time on the power play but unfortunately no one could win the game in overtime, although the Riveters probably had the best chance to win the game in OT. In the shootout, the only goal came from Amanda Kessel, who got it through off of Räisänen’s glove.
3 Stars of the Game
Katerina Mrázová: She had another excellent game today. Getting two goals for the Whale today and pushing her goal total for the year up to four goals. She also leads the team with five points and leads the team in shots on goal as well with 19.
Michelle Löwenhielm: She made it back on the list. She had a great game today, she skated well and she had the beautiful assist on Mrázová’s second goal. It was the two of them against the world and they still managed to score, shorthanded.
Kayla Meneghin: Hard to argue with putting someone on this list when she got her first NWHL goal! She also did it in her home state of New Jersey and it was certainly a goal the Whale needed at the time to gather them some momentum and tie the game.
You can check out the boxscore of this awesome game here:
The next game that the Whale play will indeed be against the Riveters again, however it won’t be in Newark, NJ. Although the Whale will be the home team, the game will be in the neutral location of Pittsburgh, PA. The Riveters and the Whale will square off at the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex at 3:30p. I will be in attendance for this game and I am really excited for it. The first two games they have played against each other have been spectacular and I can’t wait for what the third straight game between these two teams will bring.