Devils partner with women’s pro hockey team in New Jersey

New Jersey Devils centre Nico Hischier (13) celebrates his goal with John Quenneville (47), Marcus Johansson, second from right, and Drew Stafford (18) as Washington Capitals goalie Braden Holtby (70) looks back at the goal during the first period a pre-season game, Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2017, in Washington. (Nick Wass/AP)

NEWARK, N.J. — The New Jersey Devils are the first NHL franchise to partner with a National Women’s Hockey League team.

Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment, the Devils parent company, announced the partnership with the Metropolitan Riveters on Thursday.

The goal is to support the growth of the NWHL, a four-team women’s pro league that started in 2015. The Devils will assist with marketing and facilities for Riveters’ games and practices in Newark, New Jersey.

"We are grateful to begin this long-term collaboration with them and are confident that together we will grow the game," said NWHL Commissioner Dani Rylan.

The Devils and Riveters will host a doubleheader on Oct. 28 at the Prudential Center. The Riveters will open their season against the Boston Pride in the afternoon and the Devils will play the Arizona Coyotes at night.

The new alliance begins on Saturday at Prudential Center in support of World Girls Hockey Weekend. The Riveters will join 60-plus area female youth hockey players for the Devils home opener against the Colorado Avalanche. The girls will meet the Riveters and participate in a skating clinic after the game.

Hugh Weber, president of Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment, called the partnership "an extraordinary opportunity to support youth and women’s professional ice hockey at the Prudential Center."

The Riveters will adopt the team colours of the Devils. Select games will be featured on The One Jersey Network and the Devils’ website.

The other NWHL cities are Stamford, Connecticut, and Buffalo, New York.

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