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Best News Ever: Riveters sign Team Japan's lights-out goaltender Nana Fujimoto

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Japan isn't yet known for its ice hockey stars, but Fujimoto's goaltending was a highlight of the 2014 Winter Olympics. Now she's likely going to be the Riveters' starting goaltender.

Nana Fujimoto with her team in Sochi.  She earned an 0.885 save percentage in the tournament with her best outings coming against much higher ranked teams.
Nana Fujimoto with her team in Sochi. She earned an 0.885 save percentage in the tournament with her best outings coming against much higher ranked teams.
Julian Finney/Getty Images

Nana Fujimoto is the real deal.  During group play for Team Japan in the 2014 Olympics, the 5'4" netminder stopped 79 shots, including a 22-save, one-goal loss to eventual fourth-place finishers, Sweden.  Considering that Japan only scored a single goal during group play, and never won a game in the entire tournament, Fujimoto essentially had the team on her back.

Her work ethic, reliability, and athleticism make her a true #1 goalie.  She won the Best Goaltender award at the 2015 IIHF Women's World Championship and is used to facing talented offense.  Her small size has been remarked upon a lot; however, smaller goaltenders are still more common in women's hockey than they are in the men's game.  For example, Brittany Ott, the former University of Maine goalie who split starts with Genevieve Lacasse last season on the CWHL's Boston Blades, is listed as just 5'3" and is notable for her strong positioning.

Now, Fujimoto has signed with the Riveters and becomes one of the biggest-name NWHL signings so far.  According to her interview this morning with Puck Daddy's Jen Neale, she has never been to New York City before.  We'll have to be sure to give her a warm welcome.

ETA: This came just a day after the Riveters announced two more signings out of Union College, Shenae Lundberg (G) and Ashley Johnston (D).  The Riveters went from having no goaltenders to a solid #1 and #2 in just 24 hours.  Johnston is another solid two-way defender who can block shots and contribute scoring.  Lundberg's senior season was extremely good and included a 59-save shutout performance.  Check the press release for more info.