Rams earn three big points with win over Lakers
TORONTO - The Ryerson Rams women’s hockey team were 3-1 winners over the Nipissing Lakers Saturday night in a game with potential playoff implications.
Coming into the game the Rams and Lakers were tied in the standings with the same amount of games played, so a game like this at this stage of the season could feel bigger than others.
Head coach Lisa Haley said, “There was a lot on the line for both teams tonight. We have a lot of respect for Nipissing and the success they have had.
“Last year we learned just how important home ice advantage is come the playoffs and this game helps us get closer to that goal.”
Lauren Nicholson opened the scoring just minutes into the game when she buried a rebound off of a Madison Lalonde shot giving Ryerson the early lead.
Before the Nicholson goal the Rams had to kill off a penalty, something that would become a trend in this game.
The penalty kill was put to the test early and often, but it was a test that they passed with near flying colours.
“Our penalty kill has been very strong for us. I’m not happy with the amount of penalties we’ve been taking. But for us we feel like everything has been coming together lately."
After the first period, the Rams had given Nipissing five chances on the power play. But every time the Lakers had the advantage Ryerson stepped up and shut them down.
The Rams caught a break near the end of the first period when a Ryerson miscue lead to a Lakers two-on-0 but Nipissing failed to hit the net and the puck flew out of play settling things down.
Nothing would come of the final minute and Ryerson took their one goal lead into the locker room.
Ryerson extended their lead in the final minutes of the second period thanks to the special team unit, making this their third game in a row with a power play goal. This time around it was Kayla Karbonik getting her first of the season giving the Rams some insurance for the third period.
That insurance marker proved to be large when Nipissing converted on a power play of their own in the third period.
After seven successful kills, the penalties had caught up to the Rams and it was a one goal game.
With just over three minutes left in the game the Rams took yet another penalty and the Lakers saw that as their opportunity to pull the goalie for a six-on-four advantage.
Ryerson held off an initial push from Nipissing and the game was put on ice when Erika Crouse scored from beyond centre ice restoring the Rams two-goal lead.
Nipissing continued to push, but couldn’t break through in the final minutes and the Rams had picked up the regulation win.
The win for Ryerson gives them 35 points on the year to currently sit in third place in the OUA, just five points – with a game in hand – out of first place, but also just five points ahead of seventh.
This was a perfect weekend for Ryerson as they picked up six of a possible six points and although they sit in third now a lot can change by the time the season ends.
Ryerson will look to keep their winning ways going Jan. 25 when they host Waterloo.