The New York Riveters resigned goaltender Katie Fitzgerald as the National Women’s Hockey League Restricted Free Agency period opened on Monday.
Fitzgerald the defending Goaltender of the Year said, “From the moment our season ended in March, I wanted to be back with the Riveters and back in the NWHL. It was an easy decision for me to come back, and I am proud to stay a Riveter.”
Following the 2016-2017 season, the NWHL Media Pool, named Fitzgerald, Goaltender of the Year. In 15 games with the Riveters, she went 7-6-1 with a 3.01 goals against average and a .901 save percentage. On the last day of the regular season, she helped her Riveters teammates put an end to the Boston Pride’s undefeated season.
The five foot 10 netminder played four seasons at St. Cloud State University, in Minnesota, prior to stepping between the pipes in the NWHL.
The new season is scheduled to begin on October 3, 2017 with the league’s Founding Four teams, Riveters, Pride, Connecticut Whale and Buffalo Beauts, taking the ice for a third season. The full slate of home games will take place in each market, as well as each of the teams being featured in neutral site games.
The league will continue to compensate its players as well as give them a share of the revenue from the sales of their jerseys and shirseys. Full details of player contracts will be announced prior to the start of the regular season.
In talking about her style of play, Fitzgerald said, “I am more new school, a hybrid. I have taken my size and athleticism and worked on moving more quickly. I employ some aspects of the butterfly, but hold my edges. I have to thank Rebecca Baker, my goalie coach at St. Cloud, my last two years, and now with the Riveters, for all of the work she has done to improve my game.”
She has said she is inspired by the play of Canadian women’s goaltender, Shannon Szabados and Montreal Canadiens, netminder Carey Price. Outside of hockey one of the athletes she looks up to and admires is United States softball pitcher, Jennie Finch.
Fitzgerald added, “The league, the franchise and my teammates have helped me become a better player and person. I cannot believe how close everyone at the Riveters became so quickly. When I graduated, I felt like I was not done with hockey. The NWHL enables me to continue to pursue my passion, and I have learned so much. Hard to believe I graduated last May 6, and now I look back at what an incredible year it has been.”
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