Two players from the NWHL’s first season are returning for the upcoming season. One of them has been a part of the league since day one, the other returned last season after a three-season hiatus where she played overseas.
On July 6 the Connecticut Whale announced that a familiar face would be rejoining their team for the upcoming season. Forward Alyssa Wohlfeiler, who played for the Whale in the NWHL’s first season, has signed with the team after playing with the Boston Pride last season.
The following day the Metropolitan Riveters announced that defender Kiira Dosdall-Arena would be returning for her sixth season with the team and league. Last season Dosdall-Arena participated in her first NWHL All-Star Game.
The Pod Welcomes Back Wohlfeiler
“Alyssa has proven to be a dominant forward who uses her size to her advantage and has a great shot. We are excited to welcome her back to the Whale,” said Connecticut GM Bray Ketchum Peel in the press release announcing the signing.
Wohlfeiler finished last season with 16 points (5g-11a) in 14 games (one assist in one playoff game) and in 31 career games in the NWHL, she has 23 points (8g-15a). In addition to playing in the NWHL, she has also played in the SWHL, the SDHL, the CWHL, and the Frauen-Bundesliga in Germany.
“I’ve heard nothing but great things about (head coach) Colton Orr and his entire staff, and I really enjoyed my conversation with Colton,” said Wohlfeiler in the press release. “I am humbled that he wants me to be part of the Whale to help continue to move the organization in the right direction. It’s going to be a fun and competitive season and especially entertaining for our loyal fans. We cannot thank the Whale fans, and NWHL fans, enough for your continued support.”
When she rejoined the league last season she talked about the growth of the NWHL while she was playing overseas. “Having played in Europe, I’ve had fans tell me. That they have specifically traveled to the US just to be able to watch an NWHL game in person,” said Wohlfeiler. “When I was in California, I had another fan at a 5:00 am stick time tell me he watched games online. So the league is definitely reaching fan bases all over the world and it’s really exciting to think about the potential of women’s hockey right now.”
Wohlfeiler is the 16th player signed by the Whale for the upcoming season. She joins forwards Emma Vlasic, Kaycie Anderson, Amanda Conway, Melissa Samoskevich, Nicole Guagliardo, Kayla Friesen, and Katelynn Russ, defenders Shannon Doyle, Elena Orlando, Taylor Marchin, Hanna Beattie, Tori Howran, and Maggie LaGue, and goaltenders Brooke Wolejko and Abbie Ives.
Dosdall-Arena Returns to Rep the Rivs
This past season Dosdall-Arena chipped in two points (1g-1a) over 13 games and in 2018 won the Isobel Cup with the Riveters. For her career, she ranks second on the franchise’s all-time games played list (80), 10th in points (25), second in penalty minutes (60), and seventh in assists (21).
“Working with Kiira on a contract to play another season with the Riveters was at the very top of our list of priorities for our team this off-season,” said head coach Ivo Mocek in the press release announcing the signing. “I had the opportunity to see first-hand everything Kiira has brought to the Rivs since day one. She brings experience and skill, and she’s always in peak condition. Having Kiira and Moose (Rebecca Morse) gives us two great role models for our younger defenders.”
The 32-year-old defender broke her two-year-long goal drought this past season and she also scored a goal for Team Dempsey at the 2020 All-Star Game.
“I know the passion of the NWHL’s leaders, players, GMs, coaches, and amazing fans will continue to drive our league forward, and I can’t wait to work together to make progress on and off the ice in Season 6,” said Dosdall-Arena. “I am beyond excited, grateful, and honored to be part of another season with the Riveters.”
With Dosdall-Arena re-signing the Riveters now have signed 17 players this off-season. She joins goaltenders Tera Hofmann and Sonjia Shelly, defenders Morse, Saroya Tinker, Leila Kilduff, Samantha Fieseler, and forwards Madison Packer, Kendall Cornine, Cailey Hutchison, Mallory Rushton, Emily Janiga, Kate Leary, Sammy Kolowrat, Brooke Avery, Jayne Lewis, and Tatiana Shatalova.
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.