Remembering My First NWHL Game

So, I woke up this morning at my usual time of 6a to let the dogs out and make sure they are fed breakfast.

Addi and Arlo

(Here is a picture of them. β™₯)

Usually, I take that time to read a little bit of Twitter and Facebook, to see what I’ve missed since I was asleep. Nothing major, just Tom Brady leaving the Patriots for the Buccaneers.

So I flipped to my Facebook, and take a gander of my memories. Yesterday was the 5th anniversary of buying my Subaru; however, today I found out that it is the 2 year anniversary of attending my first NWHL game. It just so happened to be a playoff game between the Metropolitan Riveters and the Connecticut Whale.

Permit me to flashing back to the NWHL season in 2017, I had known about the league through the TXHT podcast, when I was live tweeting for them. One particular day, they had a guest, Anya Battaglino (now Anya Packer), a Whale defender/forward on. I remember enjoying listening to her talking and being so passionate about the game, as I sat on my keyboard to type out the things she said, and share her social media stuff to try and help.

The next season in 2018, I ended up getting my first NWHL jersey. I did a Twitter poll to figure out which player to get. The four choices were Anya Battaglino, Sophia Agostinelli, Emily Fluke, and Sydney Rossman. Eventually it was Battaglino who won the poll and I got her jersey.

I had been watching a couple of games whenever I could, and found myself really enjoying it. However if there is one true measure, there is something to be said about experiencing games live. So I bought a ticket, it was only like $20, and I set out on my adventure with this women’s hockey league, not knowing what to expect. Truth be told, this was the first time that I had traveled to Newark, NJ.

NWHL ticket

It took 4 hours, but I arrived early. One thing about Barnabas Health Hockey Place is that one, it is in downtown Newark, but also, it is right next to Prudential Center, where the New Jersey Devils play. I managed to snap a pic of the Marty Brodeur statue outside, and sent the pic to a friend, who is a massive Devils fan.

Marty Brodeur

The seating was general admission, and I found myself with a pretty good view, as it was right by the Connecticut Whale bench to watch warm-ups and the game.

Whale warmups


I’ll go over a quick recap of the game. The goalie match up was Katie Fitzgerald for the Riveters, and Sydney Rossman for the Whale. The Riveters jumped out to a quick lead, after a minute into the game, the goal coming from Rebecca Russo. This got the crowd going and the Riveters dominated play. However at the end of the first period, the Riveters only had a 1-0 lead.

In the second period, it was more of the same, dominance from the Riveters and eventually a breakthrough for them, as Erika Lawler would net a goal a little over halfway through the second period.

Unfortunately in the third period, the wheels came off from the Whale. About halfway through, when the Whale were on the power play, Madison Packer got a breakaway and scored while short handed. This really deflated any possible notion of a Whale comeback, because shortly after, the Riveters would get two more goals in quick fashion. Goals coming from Bray Ketchum and Kelly Nash. Rossman would depart from the game after the Ketchum goal and Keira Goin would finish the game. It ended with the final score being 5-0 in favor of the home team.

Whale after game

Not the best result for the first game attending, but I didn’t care. I got to see some amazing athletes playing hockey, and at a very high level. I know it’s cliche and I also know I said it earlier, but there really is truly something to be said about experiencing hockey games live, that is awesome.

What didn’t dawn on me at the time, was the ability to be able to talk to the players after the game. Somebody noticed my Whale jersey, and we got to chatting. It turned out later that it was one of the player’s family. Not a couple of minutes later, I found myself talking with Sophia Agostinelli, a forward who happened to be scratched that game. Sophia and I

Shortly after that, I also got to talk with then Whale forward Jamie Goldsmith, and that conversation was incredible as well.

After this, I found myself on my way home, but while I was driving, I was listening to a different podcast that happened to talk about women’s hockey and it had a Whale player on it. It was thoroughly enjoyable, and I knew then that I was gonna be a Whale fan, and an NWHL fan for life. That I would promote these athletes and the game to the best of my ability. Also that I would do my best to travel to more games, which I did!


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