Boston Remains Undefeated as Riveters Take Down Whale

December 9, 2019 - Devils Army Blog - View Full Article
Photo by: Kate Frese

The Metropolitan Riveters had a repeat of last week’s schedule, as they faced both the Boston Pride and Connecticut Whale again. The game against Boston was only the Rivs’ second home game of the season. They hoped to give their home fans a good show, and take a win against the Pride who were missing their starting goalie. Unfortunately, this did not happen and things turned sour as the Pride took the game 8-3. 

Sunday, the Riveters took the trip to Danbury and nabbed another win over the Whale, 3-2. This game was a lot more evenly matched and not flooded with penalties as was the case with Saturday’s game. 

Riveters’ rookie Kendall Cornine scored four goals on the weekend, solidifying her spot as All-Star Game representative for the team. She is now tied with two other players for the second-most goals this season. Worth noting is Cornine has played two fewer games than each of these other players.

A key issue for the Riveters was the holes in their lineup. They played Boston with five defenders, which was not a good idea. Nichelle Arnold moved over to play center, while Cassie Dunne and Anna Keys were noticeably missing. Both Dunne and Keys are integral pieces in preventing the Rivs’ opponents from scoring.

Photo Courtesy of NWHL/Kate Freese

Game Summaries 

Much like last week, the Riveters were dominant for the first period against the Pride. At the end of one, the score was 2-1 Boston. The Riveters were matching Boston relatively evenly in puck possession and shots on goal. 

Things took a turn for the worse in the second as Boston put a quick goal less than a minute in, and then scored four more in seven minutes. This was while the Riveters took rotations sitting in the penalty box. The total penalty minutes were 46. There was a lot of argument by head coach Ivo Mocek and fans as they thought the referees were calling far too tight of a game, especially given the score.

NWHLPA-head and Riveters color commentator Anya Packer even pointed out during the broadcast that we’ve seen a lot worse from this matchup. All things considered, it was a pretty mild game. 

While Sam Walther got the start, backup goalie Dana DeMartino came in for the third period to relieve Walther as she was expected to start in Connecticut the following day. DeMartino faced eight shots and stopped them all. 

Sunday was a little different. Both teams on the ice took far fewer penalties, despite three different injuries sustained by Whale players forcing them to the locker room. It was a relatively quiet, defensive game that allowed Cornine and Packer to connect for a handful of points and take home a win.

Looking Ahead

The Riveters will head to Minnesota for a two-game series against the Whitecaps much like they did to open their season. As I said then, the Minnesota team is nowhere near the same one we saw last season and beating them is entirely possible. 

The biggest takeaways from this weekend – as far as the Rivs go – is that they play to their opponent. They tend to look extremely forceful against the Pride, but then struggle to get shots on a Whale team that hasn’t won a game in over a calendar year. This and the fire they showed in their overtime win against the Whitecaps earlier this season proves to me that they very well could take two wins on the weekend. Especially if they have their full defensive lineup and can stay out of the penalty box. 

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Devils Fall to Predators Saturday Night

December 8, 2019 - Devils Army Blog - View Full Article

The New Jersey Devils dropped to 0-4-1 in their last five games after losing to the Nashville Predators in what was quite the open-ended affair, as four goals were scored within the first four minutes. Daniel Carr deflected a Dan Hamhuis point shot to open the score in the first minute of the game, and Dante Fabbro followed up shortly by finishing a cross-slot feed from Nick Bonino. Yet, the Devils displayed resiliency by tying things up shortly thereafter. With time and space in the slot, Jesper Bratt sent a wrist shot through Pekka Rinne’s blocker side after receiving a deft pass from Pavel Zacha. Travis Zajac tied the game just over a minute after by shoveling in a Nikita Gusev pass in what appeared to be a lucky bounce.

Mark Zaleski | AP Photo

After a questionable Sami Vatanen turnover, Yakov Trenin tipped in a Rocco Grimaldi slap shot from the boards to give Nashville the lead in the second period — it was 22-year-old Trenin’s first NHL goal. Filip Forsberg scored two minutes later by corralling a loose puck in Louis Domingue’s blue paint and shooting it into an empty net for his 11th of the season. Shortly after, Kyle Palmieri scored his own 11th of the season on a one-timer from the slot off a pass from Taylor Hall. The Devils, at this point, had managed to keep themselves in the mix for the duration of the game while being outshot and out-chanced.

Unfortunately, they never managed to tie things up – Nick Bonino scored early in the second after sending a quick snapshot over Louis Domingue’s shoulder from an off-angle. Although Taylor Hall buried a rebound after an impressive individual effort from Jack Hughes, Rocco Grimaldi followed up by scoring on a clear breakaway to ultimately put the game out of reach much to the Devils’ dismay.

Mark Zaleski | AP Photo

The Devils could not get a timely save from Domingue to swing the momentum in their favor — he has now let up 11 goals in his last consecutive periods. Since the Devils could not manage to pull themselves out of their disheartening losing streak, they look to do so in the two difficult road games in front of them. Alain Nasreddine is still winless as a head coach, but the players remain relatively optimistic that they can still turn things around with keen attention to detail and mental fortitude.

Tuesday night, the Devils face the Stars in Dallas and look to snap out of their losing streak. Taylor Hall, the hot subject of various recent trade rumors, has 25 points in 29 games and 3 points in his last 3 games. Nico Hischier sat out for his second consecutive game with an undisclosed illness. At this point, only time will tell whether the Devils can somehow move into a competitive place in the standings.

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