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Riveters beat Whale in a shootout, 2-1

Taylor Girard brings up the puck during Friday night’s PHF game in Simsbury. Connecticut beat Montreal, 4-1.

Goalie Katie Burts made 33 saves and Mintuu Tuominen scored a shootout goal to lift the Metropolitan Riveters to a 2-1 win over the Connecticut Whale in a shootout Friday night in Premier Hockey Federation play at the Rink at the American Dream mall in East Rutherford, N.J.

Tuominen was the final shooter in the three-person shootout and her goal past the right shoulder of Connecticut goalie Merri Raisanen gave the Riveters the victory.

Connecticut (8-6-2) picked up one point for the overtime loss and moved into a third place tie with Minnesota in the PHF standings. However, the Whitecaps have played two fewer games than the Whale, who had their modest two-game winning streak snapped.

The Riveters (6-11) took a 1-0 lead in the second period when a shot from Fanni Garat-Gasparics deflected in off a Whale defender.

Connecticut, which had 34 shots including 15 in the third period, tied the game at 1-1 with 19:20 left in regulation when Taylor Girard scored on a 5-on-3 power play advantage.

The Whale nearly won the game at the buzzer with a shot from Allie Munroe that beat Burts but it was just a second too late.

Connecticut returns to action on Sunday when they visit Warrior Arena in Boston to face the defending Isobel Cup champion Pride at 2 p.m.

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Friday night inside The Rink at American Dream it was Rosie the Riveter Day as the team celebrates the 80th anniversary of the iconic poster and inspiration behind their famous logo.

Westinghouse, which has a long and connected history to the Rosie the Riveter brand and image, is the presenting corporate sponsor for the game and will be represented by Ester Hong who will be on hand for a ceremonial puck drop.

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The Riveters rink is inside an actual mall in East Rutherford. The team signed a three-year deal in 2022 to hold all practices and home games on the American Dream’s NHL-sized rink. The mall is next to the arena where the New Jersey Devils played from 1982 to 2007. Several mall stores are visible on the game broadcast and spectators watched the contest from three different levels.

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In case you missed it, last Friday night the Whale hosted a National Girls and Women in Sports Day panel with leading women in the sports industry ahead of their game against Montreal at the International Skating Center of Connecticut in Simsbury.

Panelists included DiJonai Carrington of the Connecticut Sun, Whale assistant coach and 1998 Olympic gold medalist Sue Merz, Susie Piotrkowski who serves as vice president of espnW, and Kate Whitman Annis who held a variety of leadership roles throughout her PHF tenure before joining the New Jersey Devils Youth Foundation as its executive director.

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Connecticut’s Kennedy Marchment was named the PHF Player of the Month for January, the league announced earlier this week.

Marchment had 14 points in eight games, including nine goals and five assists. She had four multi-point games including her first career hat trick in a 7-3 win over Buffalo on Jan. 18. She also had a three-point game on Jan. 8 in a 6-0 win over the Riveters.

Marchment had a pair of two-goal games against Montreal on Jan. 14 in Pittsburgh and in a 4-1 win over Toronto on Jan. 22 in Ontario.

“Kennedy continues to show that she is an impact player on the Whale and throughout the league,” said Alexis Moed, Whale general manager. “Her sense and ability to start plays, set up others, and finish her own opportunities is a pleasure to watch.”

The 26-year-old from Marmora, Ontario ranks third in PHF scoring with 22 points in 15 games, including 14 goals which is tied for second overall. She has four game-winning goals this season which is tied for most across the PHF.

In only her second PHF season, the St. Lawrence University graduate has already established herself as the franchise’s all-time leader in points and goals with 55 and 27 through 35 games to date. A two-time All-Star, Marchment played for Canada, which won the PHF’s All-Star showcase tournament on Sunday in Toronto.

PHF releases are included in this report.

Metropolitan 2, Connecticut 1, SO
At East Rutherford, N.J.
Connecticut (8-6-2)         0  0  1  0  — 1
Metropolitan (6-11)        0  1  0  0  — 2
First period
No scoring; Penalties — Lenka Serdar (CT) hooking, 5:36; Hannah Bates (CT), cross-checking, 13:37
Second period
Metropolitan 1, Fanni Garat-Gasparics (Kelly Babstock), 6:35 (pp); Penalties — Janine Weber (CT), too many men, 4:49; Ebba Berglund (M) interference, 11:19; Sarah Bujold (M), holding, 19:04
Third period
Connecticut 1, Taylor Girard (Melissa Samoskevich, Kennedy Marchment), 0:38 (pp); Penalties — Madison Packer (M) roughing, 0:27, Amanda Pelkey (M), cross-checking, 4:30; Hannah Bates (CT), hooking, 13:24; Allie Munroe (CT), interference, 14:52, Sarah Bujold (M) interference, 15:15
No scoring; Penalties — Amanda Pelkey (M) interference, 4:16
Shootout: Connecticut 0-3 (Justin Reyes, Alyssa Wohlfeiler, Kennedy Marchment); Metropolitan 1-3 (Fanni Garart-Gasparics, Kelly Babstock, Minttu Tuominen, goal)
Saves: Connecticut — Merri Raisanen 26 saves (L, 2-2); Metropolitan – Katie Burt 33 saves (W, 3-4)
Shots: Connecticut 34 (6-8-15-5), Metropolitan 28 (6-8-9-4); Power play: Connecticut 1-6, Metropolitan 1-5

Standings as of February 3, 2023

Boston 12-2-1 34 9 3 0 58-30
Toronto 10-2-2 30 8 1 1 51-39
Minnesota 8-4-2 26 8 0 0 42-35
Connecticut 8-6-2 26 8 0 0 54-45
Montreal 6-7-1 16 3 1 2 36-44
Metropolitan 6-11-0 16 4 0 2 41-58
Buffalo 2-10-2 8 2 0 0 31-62
Friday’s game
Metropolitan 2, Connecticut 1, shootout
Saturday’s games
Minnesota at Montreal, ppd.
Buffalo at Toronto, 2 p.m.
Metropolitan at Boston, 7 p.m.
Sunday’s games
Minnesota at Montreal, 1 p.m.
Connecticut at Boston, 2 p.m.
Buffalo at Toronto, 2 p.m.
Monday’s game
Minnesota at Montreal, 1 p.m.
Teams earn 3 points for a win in regulation and 2 points for a win in OT or shootout. Teams earn 1 point for a loss in OT or the shootout.

Gerry deSimas, Jr., is the editor and founder of The Collinsville Press. He is an award-winning writer and has been covering sports in Connecticut and New England for more than 40 years. He was inducted into the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2018.

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