The NWHL season has drawn to a close, the playoffs are finished and the Isobel Cup has a new home. It’s time to briefly reflect on each team’s performance over 2018-19.
Team: Metropolitan Riveters
Regular Season Result: 4-12-0, 4th in the league
MVP Nominee: Amanda Kessel
What Happened In The Regular Season:
The Rivs started the 2018-19 season as reigning Isobel Cup champions, but also with a new head coach as Chad Wiseman stepped down, replaced by Randy Velischeck. October was tough going for the team, with four of their first five games against the on-form Minnesota Whitecaps. The team’s first win came on October 27th on the road against the Boston Pride. Rebecca Russo scored with three seconds left in regulation to win the game 3-2.
November and December brought just one win from four games, a shootout win over the Connecticut Whale. The Rivs opened 2019 with another win over the Whale followed by a four game losing streak. March 3rd brought the last game of the regular season, and another shootout win for the team from New Jersey.
All in despite putting a shift in, 2018/19 wasn’t a season that fans will look back on with fond memories. Aside from January’s 6-3 win over Connecticut, none of the other wins were emphatic, and the team found themselves on the wrong end of some heavy losses.
There were strong performances though, Maddie Packer and Audra Richards’ eight goals each tied the pair for fifth best in the league. Amanda Kessel’s 15 assists were the most in the league, earning the Olympic gold medallist the team’s MVP nomination.
Regular Season Stats:
What Happened In The Playoffs:
As the 4th seeded team in the playoffs, the Rivs had to play a quarter final game against the Connecticut Whale to advance. With the game tied at two apiece going into the third period, Richards and Alexa Gruschow both scored to put the game beyond the Whale before Richards added an empty-netter to put the nail in the coffin of Connecticut’s Isobel Cup dreams.
Unfortunately all that did was earn the Rivs the right to play the regular season winning Whitecaps. The team that beat them went 4-0 in the regular. The underdogs put up a brave fight, but were ultimately routed 5-1. Courtney Burke finding the only goal for the defending champions.
— Metropolitan Riveters (@Riveters) March 16, 2019
There’s no shame in losing to the eventual champions, and the Riveters look poised to bounce back next season.