Just prior to the first weekend slate of games in 2019, the Metropolitan Riveters and Connecticut Whale participated in a trade, as goaltender, Maria Sorokina was dealt to Newark for future considerations.
The 23-year-old netminder represented the Russian National Team at the 2015, 2016 and 2017 World Championships. She played four seasons in the Zhenskaya Hockey League, with Dynamo St. Petersburg and Agidel Ufa.
In 34 games with Dynamo St. Petersburg, she put up 1.58 goals against average and .926 save percentage, during the 2016-2017 season. After being dealt to Agidel Ufa in the middle of last season for their championship run, she had 2.66 GAA in four games.
Riveters head coach, Randy Velischek said, “Our coaching staff and team are excited to welcome Maria to the Riveters and New Jersey. She is a proven goaltender with an international pedigree who will make our already deep and highly-skilled goaltending corps even stronger.”
When Sorokina signed on with the Whale earlier this season, Hayley Moore, Deputy Commissioner of the National Women’s Hockey League called her, “One of the top young goaltenders in the world.”
Connecticut has been getting stellar play from their number one goaltender, Finnish native, Meeri Raisanen. Sorokina has not played for the Whale this season with the play from Raisanen, but she was able to show off her skills at the NWHL Goaltending Development Camp at Hertz Arena in Estero, Florida this past December.
The trade gives the Riveters a crowded crease as Sorokina will now battle Katie Fitzgerald, Kimberly Sass and Sarah Bryant for the top spot between the pipes. In what was described by the club as being an “amicable understanding,” the Riveters released Fiona McKenna.
Sorokina said in a statement, “I want to start off by thanking the Connecticut Whale for the work. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to continue my journey in America. I wish the Whale and their fans good luck and good health.”
She went on to continue, “Thank you to the Riveters coach, Randy Velischek, Hayley Moore with the NWHL and everyone who took part in my trade. I did not want to miss the opportunity to play in this league. I was patient and put my trust in these people, and as a result I now have a chance with a great team, and I have been welcomed into a wonderful house with a wonderful family!”
Sorokina added that she is happily waiting and eager to for her first practice and game in a Riveters sweater. She said, “To the Riveters and our fans, I will try to justify your trust and each time put my heart on the ice in order to bring as many victories as possible.”
The defending Isobel Cup Champions have not had the puck luck this season sitting in fifth place at 2-8 and hoping the New Year brings a better outcome. The Whale and Riveters will faceoff against each other at Terry Conners Rink in Stamford, Connecticut on Sunday January 6 at 1:00 PM.