With everything in the sports and outside world on hold, the NWHL gave us some exciting news today. The league announced on March 26 that the Metropolitan Riveters have re-signed star rookie Kendall Cornine for next season. She is the first player to sign on for the NWHL’s sixth season.
Cornine, who is from Kinnelon, New Jersey, finished tied for second on the team in goals (13), and tied for third in assists (11), third in points (24), first in shots on goal (115), tied for second in power-play goals (3), and first in face-offs won (301), taken (562), and face-off percentage (.536). She was also eighth in the league in goals this past season, fifth in face-off percentage, and second among first-year players in goals.
The 23-year-old was also selected to the All-Star Game as a rookie and was a constant threat with her speed and quick release every time she stepped on the ice this season. “This year was by far my favorite year of hockey,” said Cornine in the press release announcing her re-signing.
“I couldn’t have asked for better teammates, coaches, and staff. The NWHL has given me an opportunity to fall back in love with the game and fulfill my dream of playing professional hockey,” she added. “Coming back to the Rivs next season is a decision I didn’t need to think twice about, and I look forward to continuing my future as a Riveter.”
Cornine played in all 24 regular-season games and the Riveters’ lone playoff game this past year and was the sixth overall pick in the 2018 NWHL Draft from RIT. She is the program’s all-time leading scorer at the Division I level, finishing her career with 64 points (38g-26a) in 140 games.
Giving Back to the Game
In addition to playing for the Rivs, Cornine is also a coach for the boys’ and girls’ hockey teams at Morristown-Beard and is the coach of the girls’ lacrosse team. She is also a coach in the New Jersey Colonials youth hockey program.
“It’s nice to be back on the ice after my senior year with two of my college teammates,” Cornine said during the season of playing with Brooke Baker and Mallory Rushton who also played at RIT. “Having them here made it an easier transition to the pro game. The trio lived together at the Cornine family home during the just-completed NWHL season.
“My parents love having the three of us here, and it’s nice to be playing so close to home. My family and friends can easily come to our games because when I was playing in college it was five hours away,” added Cornine.
Rivs Reuniting the Band?
With Cornine under contract for next season so early it could be a domino effect for the Riveters, who could look very similar. That would be a nice change from their last training camp when everyone showed up to the rink with name tags that said: Hello, my name is.
The Riveters had an up-and-down season, but showed so much promise and really grew together as a group. They were one goal away from advancing to the Isobel Cup Final, falling to the defending champion Minnesota Whitecaps 1-0 in overtime on Semifinal Sunday. With Cornine back in the fold for another run at the Cup, we should expect a lot of her teammates to soon follow suit.
“Her offensive talent is undeniable and her positive attitude on and off the ice went a long way with her teammates and the coaching staff,” said Riveters head coach Ivo Mocek. “I believe she will continue to improve next season and will be one of the key players in our lineup again.”
It wouldn’t be a shock to see Baker and Rushton also re-sign, and if they can bring back players like Sam Walther, Rebecca Morse, Madison Packer, Kate Leary, Leila Kilduff, Jayne Lewis, and Cailey Hutchison they could be a force to be reckoned with once the NWHL’s sixth season kicks off. That’s a nice core for GM Kate Whitman Annis and Mocek to build the newest edition of the Riveters around.
Dan Rice is in his 9th year of reporting for THW & has covered NJ Devils home games for 15+ years at various websites. He began his journey working for legendary broadcaster/writer Stan Fischler from 2002-04 & completed an internship at the ECHL; he also has been writing features for the NWHL (nwhl.zone) website since 2016.