Riveters bounce back scoring late in the 3rd
The Riveters came in on their first 2 gaming losing streak and responded strongly after a slow start in the first few minutes of the game. The opening 10 minutes saw some sloppy puck movement and the opening goal was scored off a bad bounce. Brooke Stacey gathered the puck behind the Riveter's goal and played a simple pass through the crease toward the point. Unfortunately for the Rivs the puck hit the back skate of Sarah Bujold and sat in the crease for Brooks to slam home five-hole unassisted just 6:49 into the first period. It was a rocky start for Makinen who saw her first action of the season.
Brooke is in her first season back in the league, she previously played for the Buffalo Beauts in 2019-2020 where she tallied 8 goals and 8 assists in 14 games for the team and earned all-star honors. She was unable to play in the all-star game due to her pregnancy which she announced shortly after the nomination. Her best friend Riveters forward Cailey Hutchinson took her spot in the game while she took part as a passer in the Accuracy Shooting competition. In December 2020, she announced that she had re-signed with the Beauts for the 2020-21 season, stating that she wanted "to be a role model for new moms, showing that it is possible to compete at the highest level even after a couple of months postpartum. [i] She is Kanien’kehá:ka (commonly known by the exonym 'Mohawk') and grew up in Kahnawake, a First Nations reserve on the St. Lawrence River in southern Québec.
The Riveters would settle things down after the goal and show that they can play a highly skilled game without unforced errors. They took 11 shots in the 1st period outshooting the Force by two. They went on the penalty kill and Fanni Garat-Gasparics on a mini breakaway went five-hole for the game-tying goal. The short-handed goal was the first one let up by Montreal this season and in their young history. The goal was assisted by Emilie Harley at 17:32 into the first period. Fanni has her 2nd goal in the past two games and scored shortly after what was believed to be the tying goal a minute earlier was waived off by the referee who blew the whistle too soon. The period would end tied up 1-1 just as it did the day before between these two sides. The sin bin had some visitors in the 1st period seeing Samantha Isbell of La Force at 11:42 into the period for tripping and the Rivs Sarah Forster at 17:00 into the period for hooking.
Overall, the period was one of the better periods for the Riveters this season, probably their best if not for the momentary lapse by the young goalie and her defense who seemed out of sync on the play. If one thing has been noticeable these two teams have hard nose defenses and can strike quickly on mistakes.
The scoreless second period was a giant game of chess by both managers, both teams stood tall and made life troubling for their opponents. Both teams had 9 shots on goal for the period, but Montreal took 2 trips to the sin bin Kaity Howarth went first at 15:54 into the period for tripping captain Madison Packer, who drove hard up the right side and keeping her legs moving drawing the tripping call. Brigitte Laganiere at 19:59 into the period when Rivs Pelky drove to the goal and got off a great shot despite being slashed on the play. There was a good no-call by the officials when Kelly Babstock stood her ground and was run into by one of Montreal's forwards. Babstock while standing still, knocked her opponent down hard from the force of contact created. Fans were unhappy with the no-call, but it was the proper call.
It was dare I say the team's best period of hockey this season, they drew penalties instead of taking them and they kept the shots on their goalie clean and low. This period and the game overall so far are showing how dangerous the Riveters can be to play against when they stay disciplined and carry out the game plan with little to no unforced mistakes. The third period should be a tight one where one goal could be all the difference and secure the win with how both teams are playing. The Riveters are outshooting their opponent 20-18 and playing with grit while avoiding the box in the second. Also worth the mention was the power play for the Rivs showing great possession and movement controlling the zone for 99% of the advantage. While they didn't score on them, they were dangerous and had Montreal chasing.
The third period saw Montreal again control the first 10 minutes of play and dictate the pace but that would change when team captain Madison Parker batted in an aerial pass from teammate Amanda Pelky from just outside the crease beating the goalie's glove side. A secondary assist was given to Anna Kilponen who started the play with a hard dump into the corner that careened around the board to Pelky, who deflected it to the captain. The goal showed the hand-eye skills of the captain who made no mistakes in her attempt at the puck making clean contact well below the crossbar, the contact came around her shins. Montreal would strike back four minutes later when Christine Deaudelin took a point-to-point pass from Samantha Isbell and fired a rocket from the left side's blue line, the shot made it past the screen and over Makinen's glove side. The goal was Deaudelin's first of the season. Makinen struggled to see the shot and it showed with her delayed reaction to the puck. The game was tied up at 2 with about 5 minutes and 25 seconds left, the goal didn't get the Rivs down as they responded by controlling the puck and getting some good looks at the goal. The Rivs did get called for an odd delay of game penalty behind their goal when Kendall Cornine played the puck trying to send it around the boards to her teammate. The puck looked to have hit the downed player of the force causing it to catch the netting, but the officials said no and gave the penalty to Cornine at 16:30 into the period. The team responded strong killing it off and nearly had a breakaway while shorthanded. When the penalty expired there was just a minute thirty left in the third period. As time ticked away it appeared the two sides might be heading to overtime when with a minute left Kelly Babstock won a key offensive zone faceoff. The force seemed to gain control of the puck to clear put Sarah Bujold picked the pass off and made an insane backhand no-look pass to Kelly who cut left to right in front of the goal and buried the shot past the outstretched Goalie Deschenes for the game-winner with 51 seconds remaining to the game. Sarah keeps her point streak alive with the assist, giving her at least 1 point in her last 4 games.
Have to say it was an amazing bounce back by the Riveters and showed the potential this team has. If they maintain this type of play for the remainder of the season, they will be a huge threat for the Isobel Cup. We were able to get a post-game thought from head coach Venla Hovi thanks to the amazing social media staff of the Rivs.
"Pretty good overall crowd in Montreal this weekend." "We turned things around though today, yesterday we were a little timid, a little undisciplined, our habits weren't there and we're still learning to be consistent and today we started to do those things and that's when games start turning your way. It was one of those games where I think whatever happened we would've grinded the win back, I'm super proud of the group being able to turn it around after one night." - Venla Hovi Head Coach Metropolitan Riveters
The Riveters return home for training and practices before heading to Minnesota to face the Whitecaps on Saturday, December 3rd, at 7 pm ET at Richfield Ice Arena and Sunday, December 4th at 2 pm ET.
[i] Gullickson, Eric (December 16, 2020). "Former UMaine women's hockey player Stacey re-signs with NWHL Buffalo". MSN. Retrieved December 22, 2020.