Here’s our game weekend check-in on the best NWHL stats from the last week of play.
The New York Riveters grabbed their first win in franchise history. It was a big day and as these things go with the league in its first league, special marks keep getting set.
It wasn’t only the first win in franchise history, it was also the first time the team scored more than one goal in a single game, beating the Boston Pride 3-2.
Defenseman and the team’s first captain Ashley Johnston grabbed an assist on Beth Hanrahan’s first period go-ahead goal and became the team’s point leader with two points.
Fastest Goals Ever
With goals from Madison Packer and Hanrahan just 11 seconds apart in the first period, the Riveters put up the two fastest goals in NWHL history.
That beats out a pair of goals scored by the Pride against the Riveters on October 18. Those were scored by Corrine Buie and Blake Bolden 29 seconds apart.
Riveters goaltender Nana Fujimoto had only allowed a single goal until the closing moments of Sunday’s game. She stopped 42 of 44 Pride shots including a few breakaway bids in the most impressive display a Riveters goaltender has put up so far this season.
Her 42 saves are tied for the third most by a single goaltender in a NWHL game. Chelsea Laden stopped 54 Beauts shots in a win on October 18, while Brianne Mclaughlin has stopped 43 shots twice, once against the Pride on October 25 and once against the Whale on October 18.
The Riveters 45 shots that game is likewise one of the best marks a team has had this season. It’s fourth, behind the Beauts’ 56 shots on October 18, the Whale’s 48 shots in that same game and the Pride’s 48 shots on October 25.
The Riveters/Pride game had the second most shots of any NWHL game to date. The October 18 match between the Whale and Beauts featured 104 total shots.
With a goal against the Riveters, Pride forward Hilary Knight shot up to seven points through the season’s first four games, tying teammate Brianna Decker for the league lead in points and kept a tie on the league lead in assists with four, tied with Connecticut’s Kelly Babstock and Buffalo’s Maghan Duggan.
Stars of the Game
Though she didn’t play this weekend, no one passed Brianna Decker as the only player who has been named a star of the game in multiple games.
Whale of a Win
With a dramatic last minute win over the Buffalo Beauts, the Connecticut Whale move to 4-0-0-0 and are the only undefeated team in the NWHL. That gives them sole possession of the league’s longest winning streak and longest stretch going undefeated to start the season.
Special Teams Specialists
The Whale’s success is in no small part due to special teams success. Their 25% success rate on the power play leads the league, as does their 95.7% success rate on the penalty kill.
O Captain, My Captain
It was the first week of NWHL where all four teams played with a captain. Captains on three of the four teams put up a point in their debut with the C. Johnston had an assist for the Riveters, Knight scored a goal for the Pride and Jessica Koizumi had an assist for the Whale in their win over the Beauts.
Dustin Nelson writes about news and the Minnesota Wild for The Hockey Writers.