Toronto Six Take Home the Win Over Riveters in Thrilling Game
The Riveters entered today's match in hopes of completing their first series sweep of the season on the back of newcomer Katie Burt's stellar performance in goal. Katie stopped 30 of 32 shots through 3 periods of play and a 5-minute overtime. She would seal the victory for the Rivs going 3 for 3 during the shoot-out denying every chance Toronto had, while teammate Minttu Tuominen converted her chance against Elaine Chuli who was also spectacular throughout the game. Saving 36 of 38 shots through 3 periods of play plus 5-minute overtime. Unfortunately for Chuli Mintu with the 2nd shot of the shootout beat her to secure the win for the Rivs.
"We were dominating in the first period and one mistake led to their leading goal scorer punishing us and one thing led to another" "The team did settle in and bounce back; we never let up and stayed in the game" "I'm proud of the team for fighting back and taking their game to Toronto this series." -Venla Hovi Head Coach
It was a back-and-forth match between the Metropolitan Riveters and the Toronto Six. The game saw an early lead from the Six, but the Riveters kept fighting back and made it a nail-biting contest. In the end, it was Brittany Howard with her hat trick that solidified the victory for Toronto, winning 5-2 at home.
From the first period, it was apparent this wasn’t going to be an easy win for either team - both teams came out strong. The Riveter's had control of the game to that point and were in the attacking zone when their shot was saved by Chuli and hit the boards. It took an awkward bounce that slid between both Defenders at the point. Brittany Howard took off after the puck and went in on goal uncontested against Burt. Brittany Howard struck the back of the net first at 3:33 of the 1st period, going low blocker side just inside the post, giving Toronto a 1-0 lead. Emma Howard followed up with a goal just a few minutes later to make it 2-0 in favor of Toronto. She found a loose puck in the crease after Burt had to make a sprawling last-ditch effort to keep a bad deflection off her defender's skate from going past her. Unfortunately for Burt, Woods found the puck off the original chance by Courtney Gardiner before the defense could locate it. Brittany Howard would score her second goal on the power play at the 15:38 mark of the first period to give her side a 3-0 lead. Just like the second goal for the Six, this one took an odd bounce off the boards and Burt made the original save. Howard was able to get her stick on the rebound before Burt could cover it and just like that the Rivs were in a deep hole. The Riveters were called for two penalties in the period, and both left the crowd and media puzzled. The first call was at the 13:26 mark on Regan Rust who was playing the puck when her opponent just stopped skating altogether in front of her and fell to the ice while not attempting to play the puck in any way. The officials sent her to the box for tripping, the Rivs would kill it off. However, the 2nd penalty that was called at 15:02 of the period against Kendall Cornine at center ice along the boards did lead to a power play goal, and just like Rust's call no one knew why the whistle was blown.
I'm fair to the officials more than I should sometimes, but this is now becoming a weekly trend in this early season. Not sure if it's the rule changes, the interpretation of the rules, or what but the inconsistency has been glaring across the league and in all games except for a few. Hope the league works on the issue to keep hockey beautiful and fast-paced and not a whistle parade game in and game out. If you know the game you can see the true frustration in the player's faces, that's not a good thing for the sport or the growth of the league.
The second period started strong with Hungarian star Fanni Garat-Gasparics scoring just 2:55 into play. The goal was assisted by Kelly Babstock and Sarah Bujold. This brought the score to 3-1 in favor of Toronto, bringing back some hope for the Riveters’ fans. The game continued with some thrilling plays from both sides including Amanda Pelkey’s attempt at five hole which was denied by Elaine Chuli’s stellar play in goal for Toronto Six. Madison Packer followed the play and buried the loose puck into the near post blocker side making it 3-2 with 15 minutes left in the third period. The Riveters would continue to outshoot Toronto in the 3rd period trying to find the equalizer coming close a few times. Head Coach Venla Hovi would call a time-out with 4:30 left in the game. It was a good timeout and helped her team get a much-needed breather for their big lines.
Brittany Howard put an exclamation point on their victory with an empty net goal in the final 2:10 of the game making it 4-2, securing her hat trick and Emma Howard scored her second goal of the night with just 21 seconds remaining and also the team's 2nd power-play goal of the game making it 5-2! Despite Katie Burt having a stellar game for Metropolitan Riveters, they were unable to come away victorious in this one.
All in all, this was a thrilling game between two talented teams! The skill level on display was simply breathtaking and even though there were some bad bounces and bad calls by referees throughout the game; hockey fans still got to witness some amazing plays from both teams! Congratulations to Brittany Howard on her well-earned hat trick and congratulations to Toronto Six on taking home tonight's victory! Let's see if they can keep up their winning streak as they look ahead toward their next matchup against Buffalo Beauts! Toronto will face Buffalo on the road in the outdoor game puck drops at 7 pm ET in Buffalo at Riverworks on December 16th. For the Riveters they will return to action on the road for their final game of the 7-game road trip, they will visit the Connecticut Whales at the International Skating Center of CT, and game time is 2 pm ET on December 17th. The Riveters will look to end the skid and start a winning streak that can be carried into their return home to American Dream on January 7th at 7 pm ET against their archrivals the Boston Pride.