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National Women’s Hockey League’s New York Riveters, Making History while Looking at the Future

riveters-1000x600Earlier this year, the National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL) was unveiled. While it is not the first attempt at a women’s hockey league in the United States (there was one of the same name from 1999-2007, and there are Canadian leagues), this attempt has picked up a lot of traction on social media, and has been getting significantly more popular as the days have gone on and the season is rapidly approaching. The Original Four are the Boston Pride, the Buffalo Beauts, the Connecticut Whale and, lastly, the local team, the New York Riveters.

The New York Riveters will mark the first professional women’s hockey team in New York City history, and has been met with a lot of love from the New York hockey fans. Their roster is not too shabby, either.

Within their first four picks in the inaugural draft, they took a trio of skaters from Boston College University, and members of the Gold Medal winning Women’s team at the recent IIHF World Championships: Alex Carpenter (1st round, 1st overall), Haley Skarupa (2nd round, 5th overall) and Dana Trivigno (4th round, 13th overall).

Alex Carpenter is has star written all over her. The left handed forward led Boston College with 37 goals in 37 games played, with 44 assists. Her 81 points are good for a 2.1 PPG ratio, which is very solid. She is the reigning Patty Kazmaier Award winner, which is awarded to the top female college hockey player in the country. This is not a fluke of a year either; for her career she has 90 goals in 109 games played, with 100 assists. Her PPG average is 1.7. She was the first round pick, and is absolutely deserving of that honor.

Her teammate, Haley Skarupa, is no slouch either. In 37 games, she registered 31 goals, and 40 assists, for 71 points, giving her a 1.9 PPG ratio. The only person she trailed behind on this powerful Boston College team was Alex Carpenter. In 103 games, her line of 80 goals, and 85 assists shows her consistency. Taking these two in the first round really solidifies their important lines for their future.

Their teammate Dana Trivigno is a solid lower line player. Her 34 points (15 goals, 19 assists), were good for 5th on that Boston College team. Both Carpenter and Trivigno will serve as captains in their senior year, and Skarupa as an alternate captain. The future is incredibly bright for the three in Riveters uniforms.

Besides the three teammates, their 3rd round pick was solid as well. Erin Ambrose, out of Clarkson University, is the epitome of a good two-way defenseman. The former Eastern College Athletic Conference Rookie of the Year, Ambrose put up 6 goals and 17 assists. Her 23 points were the highest of all Clarkson defensemen. She also blocked a decent amount of shots (more than 50) last season; she is no one way defenseman.

While there is no guarantee any of these players will be Riveters; they are allowed to forgo signing with the team that signed them and opt for free agency, it is likely that the Riveters tries to retain the four stars that they signed, as they would prove to be a vital core for years to come.

One star we can see this year is Japanese goalie Nana Fujimoto. Fujimoto took the world by storm during her performance at the IIHF World Championships. Signed as a free agent, she posted a .983 save percentage, a robust 1.52 GAA, and pitched a shutout during the tournament. Another high profile free agent is Liudmila Belyakova, who, in 16 games for the Russian U18 team in 2010-2012, scored 18 goals and had 8 assists, with a 1.6 PPG. She has been playing for Tornado in Moscow, she has posted very solid numbers (26 goals, 15 assists).

The Riveters, along with the other three teams in the league, have solid rosters and incredibly bright futures. With the popularity of the NWHL on social media, and the exciting play that the USA women’s national team has done, the sky’s the limit for the league.

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