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Riveters team captain, Ashley Johnston

Riveters team captain, Ashley Johnston

The New York Riveters re-signed team captain Ashley Johnston for her third National Women’s Hockey League season on Thursday.

Johnston, a six-foot, shutdown defender has played in 35 career games, all with the Riveters, between the first two seasons of the NWHL, has put up three goals and eight assists while protecting the blueline for the organization.

The Burlington, Ontario native, nicknamed “Stretch,” appeared in 130 games over her four-year career at Union College, in Schenectady, New York as she was a candidate for the National Collegiate Athletic Association Hockey Humanitarian of the Year during her senior season. She was also selected to the Eastern College Athletic Conference All-Academic team in three of her four years.

Johnston is also an engineer at the Albany, New York based, Precision Valve and Automation, a company conformal coating robots. She also discussed the physics of hockey on a podcast on Star Talk Radio.

Johnston said, “I am proud to say I play in the NWHL. It is providing a great stepping stone for female sports, especially female hockey, and it is a humbling experience to be part of the foundation. Every year the Riveters have been more and more active in the community and in grassroots efforts. The league is really starting to catch fire. I am looking forward to continuing that effort and supporting the league as it grows. Most importantly though, I am looking forward to bringing Isobel to New York and New Jersey.”

In 2015, Johnston started a summer hockey school for high school girls, in the Albany, New York area. This year she will be coaching the New Jersey Colonials, Under-16 team.

In her self-scouting report, she said, “I play a stay-at-home style defense that focuses on positioning. I love playing as an aggressive shutdown-style D. Ultimately, I just work hard. I am not a flashy D who will go end to end, but instead try to execute the little plays that make a big difference. Things like winning the one-on-one battles, good breakout passes and heads-up positioning.”

The die-hard Star Wars fan, who said “Every time I watch the series, I become more and more obsessed,” admires the passion that Nashville Predators defenseman, P.K. Subban, gives to his play and the game.

Johnston and her Riveters teammates will begin the Riveters third season in October as they will battle the league’s other three teams, Connecticut Whale, Buffalo Beauts and Boston Pride for the right to raise the Isobel Cup. All four teams will play the full slate of their home games, in addition to a few neutral site faceoffs, as the league tries to showcase the sport in other markets.

The NWHL is one of the few professional women’s hockey leagues that compensates it players, as well as provides them with a share of their jersey sales.

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