The New York Riveters will have two forwards joining the ranks of the Boston Pride for the first-ever Outdoor Women’s Classic that will take place on December 31, 2015, before both the NHL Alumni Game and the 2016 NHL Winter Classic on January 1, 2016.
The Boston Pride will cross sticks with Les Canadiennes of the CWHL in an “abbreviated exhibition game” on the outdoor rink at Gillette Stadium and they will be without several of their stars, including Hilary Knight and Brianna Decker who will be attending the Team USA camp.
Meghan Fardelmann and Bray Ketchum of the Riveters will be joining Kate Beusser, Shannon Doyle, and Kaleigh Fratkin of the Connecticut Whale as temporary members of the NWHL’s Boston Pride. Both Fardelmann, who scored the Riveters’ first-ever hat trick on Sunday at the HarborCenter against the Beauts, and Ketchum have strong ties to the New England area. Ketchum, a Connecticut native, played her college puck at Yale and Fardelmann scored 99 points in 137 games as a Terrier at Boston College.
“I played with a lot of the girls last year so it will be fun to play with each other again,” Ketchum said. ” My family is from Connecticut and I have a few relatives in the Boston area so I would say we have strong roots in New England.”
As it turns out, both Fardelmann and Ketchum have some experience with outdoor hockey. “It’s been a few years, but I grew up playing on an outdoor rink (Greenwich Skating club) so I can’t wait,” recollected Ketchum, “It should be a fun day.” Fardelmann last played outdoor hockey on an outdoor rink for an annual outdoor practice while at Boston College.
How did Fardelmann and Ketchum find themselves joining the Boston Pride for their exhibition showdown with Les Canadiennes? Meghan Fardelmann, who was just named the NWHL’s player of the week, revealed that she jumped on the opportunity when it presented itself. “I responded quickly to an email to players with Boston connections about the game,” the Kansas-born forward shared, “How could I pass it up?”
Bray Ketchum has been one of the Riveters’ most effective forwards this season with the puck and will bring speed, an underrated and deceptive shot, and sound two-way play to the Pride for the exhibition matchup. Fardelmann, who leads the Riveters in goals and is second on the team in points behind All-Star Janine Weber, is a smart, hardworking player that is capable of playing either center or wing and is capable of killing penalties and making an impact in a more offensive role. Both Ketchum and Fardelmann will bring some much needed skill, experience, and strong two-way hockey to the Pride on the 31st.
How and where the two Riveters fit into the Pride’s lineup and system is a bit of a mystery not only to fans, but apparently to the Riveters (and Whale players) as well. “I have no clue. We play each team so much, it’s hard not to feel like rivals, but I think the leagues battling will help everyone gel,” Fardelmann observed, “I also think everyone will be in a good mood about playing outside at Gillette.”
Bray Ketchum, a former Boston Blade, is optimistic about fitting in with the Boston Pride’s roster, “I think Boston plays a similar style to the Riveters so hopefully it won’t be that different,” said Ketchum, “Either way, it’s going to be a great event and I’m so happy to be a part of it.”
Just for one game, an abbreviated exhibition game to be precise, Fardelmann, Ketchum, Fratkin, Doyle, and Beusser will have to forget the rivalries that have been emerging in the NWHL and embrace the unique opportunity to play on a big stage in a game that has serious potential to help grow the women’s game.