Well, if they had to lose one, at least it was a game like this.
Two words: Nana Fujimoto.
The Riveters' goalie made a stunning 42 saves and held off the barrage of the Pride's attack, while the Riveters offense did just enough to earn their first win of the season. I'm only a little mad, because this is just so awesome.
Even though the Pride jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead in the opening minutes of the game, thanks to this goal from their newly-named captain Hilary Knight, that was all they would get for the majority of the game.
Unlike their last meeting, which ended 7-1 in favor of the Pride, tonight the teams were evenly matched, playing exciting end-to-end hockey. The Pride may have even looked a little, dare I say it…mortal. Without Brianna Decker, who did not play due to an upper body injury, the Pride lacked some of their usual firepower. The Pride power play, while frequent and aggressive, was nearly toothless, as they were unable to convert with the man advantage until the final minute of play. Kacey Bellamy’s goal shaved the Riveters lead to 3-2, but it was too little too late.
Knight had two spectacular chances on the power play in the third, one going behind Fujimoto along the crease and somehow not going in and the other going off the post.
Hilary Knight had two spectacular attempts on the power play. This shot barely missed. (1/2) pic.twitter.com/JJsxPkHhD2— NWHL Gifs (@nwhlgifs) November 16, 2015
And later on, this shot hit the post and went out. Shot again by Hilary Knight. pic.twitter.com/bAkcdHxDPt— NWHL Gifs (@nwhlgifs) November 16, 2015
Bonus: is there anything she can’t do?
During the second period, Emily Field had to be helped off the ice after a knee-to-knee collision with the Riveters’ Brooke Ammerman and reportedly has a bruised knee.
Injury warning for the GIF:
Ammerman and the Pride's Emily Fields collided in what seems to be a knee to knee hit. Fields was helped off the ice pic.twitter.com/71BdKZTY8A— NWHL Gifs (@nwhlgifs) November 16, 2015
While Fujimoto was putting on a goalkeeping clinic, Lauren Slebodnick got the start in net for the Pride instead of Brittany Ott. She allowed two goals in the span of 10 seconds, making it obvious that she has not had as much opportunity to be tested yet this season.
The New York Riveters first goal was scored by Madison Packer. pic.twitter.com/fAXF6DMuFv— NWHL Gifs (@nwhlgifs) November 16, 2015
Towards the end of the game, tempers were running high and things started to get a little chippy after the whistles. The situation, if left unchecked, may boil over next weekend when the Pride host the Riveters in their home opener at Harvard’s Bright-Landry Center.
Yes, you read that right: THE HOME OPENER IS FINALLY HERE! Grab your tickets if you haven't yet. I expect nothing less than a packed house.