Rams open season with win on home ice
TORONTO - The Ryerson Rams women’s hockey team opened their season Sunday afternoon with a 4-2 win over the Windsor Lancers.
Penalties were the story of the first period. The opening 10 minutes of the game were very even, with both teams generating chances and failing to score on a power play each.
The Rams had some trouble as the period went on and found themselves on the wrong the side of a five on three Windsor power play.
The Rams killed off the five on three and earned a power play of their own; after failing to convert the Rams took their third penalty of the period.
Through all of the issues, the Rams offence still had their chances and by the time the first period ended they held a 12-4 lead in shots on goal. But no goals were scored and it was 0-0 after one.
Just under four minutes into the second period the Rams offence controlled play in the offensive zone. Claire Banks walked the line and took a shot at the net, creating a rebound that Olivia Giardetti found and fired past the goalie to give Ryerson the 1-0 lead and their first goal of the season.
But just five minutes later Windsor responded with a goal of their own, tying the game up at 1-1 with half of the game still to be played.
Both teams once again traded power plays in the last 10 minutes of the second period, and once again both teams failed to convert on the advantage and went into the locker rooms tied after two periods.
Head coach Lisa Haley said after the game, “The injury bug has hurt us early, we haven’t been able to get our five player groups a lot of reps. With everyone close to getting healthy again we will be able to get back to some of our structure that worked for us in the preseason.”
The third period opened with Windsor having a grade A chance in the slot, but Rams goalie Rachel Seeley turned it aside and the Rams took momentum from that and began pushing the tempo.
The shift in momentum lead to a Ryerson five on three of their own; after failing to capitalize on that Windsor took yet another penalty and this time the Rams would take full advantage.
After having her first attempt blocked, first year Mariah Hinds picked up the puck and rifled a slap shot past the Windsor goalie giving Ryerson a 2-1 lead.
Things got tight late in the game for Ryerson when a penalty was taken by the Rams with just over three minutes to play and Windsor pulled their goalie. Lauren Nicholson picked up the puck in the defensive zone and shot it down the full length of the ice. Her clearing attempt found its way into the back of the net and the Rams now held a two-goal lead with 2:10 left in the game.
But Windsor wasn’t going down without a fight and they got a goal of their own with 22 seconds to play. Ryerson didn’t panic and controlled the rest of play and Karli Nummikoski added the final nail in the coffin with an empty net goal of her own securing the Rams win.
Haley said, “There was a lot of nervous excitement [in the last three minutes]. I thought our penalty kill was our strongest system for us tonight and it was great to be able to lean on that when we needed to.”
The win gives Ryerson the exact start to the season they were hoping for. Ryerson goalie Rachel Seeley said about the end of the game “It’s just about keeping the team in it and making sure we get the three points.”
Ryerson will be back in action Friday Oct. 19 when they travel to North Bay to take on Nipissing.