Riveters Beat the Beauts in Season Finale

On Saturday, the Metropolitan Riveters capped off Pride Weekend and their regular season with a 3-2 victory over the Buffalo Beauts. In addition, the Riveters finished their regular season on a four-game winning streak and clinched fifth place in the Premier Hockey Federation (PHF) standings.

Even though the Riveters came into today's game having been eliminated from playoff contention, they certainly did not show it. After the game, Riveters head coach, Venla Hovi described how it felt to watch her team come out and finish their regular season by getting the three points.

I'm super proud of the players for sticking with the process. Five wins out of the last six games is a complete reflection of the group we have together. We wish we could keep playing and continue to get better, but we’re here and we stuck together and that’s all that matters right now.

As they did during yesterday's game, the Beauts scored first. At 8:02 of the first period, Claudia Kepler lit the lamp and gave Buffalo the first lead of the game. By the end of the opening period, the Riveters had outshot Buffalo 15-9, but could not solve Buffalo's goaltender, Samantha Ridgewell.

However, the Riveters responded not long after the second period began. Five minutes in, New Jersey native, Kendall Cornine tied the game at one by firing a wrist shot into the far side of the net.

Just eighteen seconds later, the Beauts were called for a five-minute major penalty when Jessica Healy checked Riveters captain, Madison Packer from behind. And Packer made the Beauts pay by scoring on the power play at 7:30 to give the Riveters a 2-1 lead.

However, this was a back-and-forth hockey game. The Beauts tied the game eight minutes into the third period, and then the Riveters answered back just three minutes later. This time for the Riveters it was Fanni Gasparics deflecting in a slap shot from Anna Kilponen into the net to put the Rivs up 3-2.

After Gasparics broke the deadlock, the Riveters never looked back. They survived an onslaught from the Beauts in the last seconds of the hockey game, but held on to win their regular-season finale by a score of 3-2.

Postgame Reactions

The Riveters only player from the state of New Jersey, Kendall Cornine, got the Riveters offense started in the second period and during the second intermission, she described that goal.

It was just talk from the bench. I heard [Madison] Packer say that I've got time and it made me pick my head up and take the shot. I think it was Hayley [Lunny] driving the net [which gave] me the time and space and I just took the shot.

The end of the 2022-23 season marked the end of Cornine's fourth year with the Riveters and she discussed what ending this season on a high note means for the future of the PHF franchise.

It just puts us in great position for next year to show what we’ve built throughout the course of the year. This was a pretty new team, only three players returned, and we had 19 new faces. We all said we wished the season was longer because we figured it out in the second half. I think we just hit our stride a little bit too late but I'm really proud of the group.

It may have been disappointing for a team that represents the New York/New Jersey metropolitan area to finish their eighth season by not making the playoffs. However, both of the wins that the Coach Hovi's team earned this weekend show that they are a hockey team that, as Coach Hovi said, stuck together no matter how their season was going.

The Riveters may not have made the playoffs this season, but they played their best hockey up until the last game of the season. This offseason will serve as an opportunity for the Riveters to build upon their core and return stronger than ever, next season.

Anthony Paradiso
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