New York Riveters forward and former Quinnipiac University captain, Morgan Fritz-Ward announced on Friday that she will be hanging up her skates following this weekend’s home games at Barnabas Health Hockey House in Newark.
Fritz-Ward and the Riveters will take on the Buffalo Beauts on Saturday at 4:30 pm when the team will have their annual “Teddy Bear Toss.” Fans will be encouraged to toss new or slightly used teddy bears on the ice after the Riveters score their first goal of the game.
Then on Sunday, in her final professional game the National Woman’s Hockey League defending champion, Boston Pride make their way to Newark for superheroes day.
Fritz-Ward, along with former New Jersey Devils backup goaltender, Scott Clemmensen, are the only professional hockey players to be raised in the state of Iowa. The 23-year-old forward has scored four goals and two assists throughout 23 games for the Riveters between last season and this year.
The Riveters assistant captain, was voted by the fans last season to represent the team in the NWHL All-Star Game. In 123 games playing for the Quinnipiac Bobcats, she put up 16 goals and 26 assists.
Fritz-Ward had told Blueshirt Banter, that she learned of the NWHL shortly before graduating from Quinnipiac and knew she wanted to be a part of the league, as she was not ready to give up the game that she had played for so long. She tends to describe herself as one of the grinders, since she takes pride in outworking and outskating the other players on the ice.
She had also told Blueshirt Banter, that she would rather be one of the setup players and pick up the assists, over being the go to goal scorer. She added, “I do my best to get people the puck.”
In announcing her retirement from the game, Fritz-Ward said, “To all my friends in Riveters Nation, I have made the decision that it is time to end my hockey career, and start on my new personal career. I want to thank the league for everything they have done for me, and allowing me my life-long dream, my teammates for being some of the greatest people I have ever met and for supporting me, and the fans who have made and continue to make this league possible and so enjoyable.”
She continued, “This was no easy decision, as hockey has been my life since I was 10-years-old, but I have decided to get back on track with school, which I will be attending in January. I am truly blessed for having had the opportunity to do what I love for over a year. Thank you all again for the support and dedication you have given to me and the league.”
NWHL Commissioner, Dani Rylan said, “I have deep admiration for Morgan, will always appreciate what she did in the early days of our league, and have great respect for her decision to continue her education. Our league will always be about personal and professional development. If a player ever decides, as Morgan did, to leave to pursue other career and educational opportunities, we will always applaud and support their decision. That said, we are sad to see Morgan leave. We will miss you, Fritzy, and wish you success in all of your endeavors.”