Photo by Alex D'Addese

Nummikoski nets OT winner, Gemmill and Green set records

By Andrea Elliott

TORONTO – In a game full of twists and turns, the Ryerson Rams women’s hockey team came out on top with a 6-5 overtime victory over the Toronto Varsity Blues on Saturday afternoon.

Several new records were set in the exciting win, including captain Kryshanda Green becoming the new Rams all-time points leader after a four-point game. Not to be outdone, Brooklyn Gemmill set a pair of single-game records, scoring four goals and finishing with five points.

“It feels pretty good, definitely against Toronto, one of our rivals, it feels good…and I surprised myself,” said a humble Brooklyn Gemmill after the game about her four-goal day.

The Rams got off to a slow start, picking up a trio of penalties in the first half of the first period, lending the early momentum to Toronto. The Rams were able to kill off all three infractions, but it took the team a while to get their legs into it offensively.

Just as the first period was winding down, Green opened the scoring after potting a loose puck at the side of the net. The goal came with just 18 seconds remaining, and the Rams headed to the intermission up a goal, despite being outshot 19-6.

“The way the game started was completely against the way we wanted to see the game unfold, knowing that U of T played late last night on the road and then having to play us in an afternoon game, we wanted to have a great start…and honestly expected to have the shots to be opposite of what it was,” said Rams head coach Lisa Haley. “But that’s the way it goes, you make a plan and then you have to be ready to change.”

The second period was a wild 20 minutes that saw eight goals scored between the two teams. The action began right from puck drop, as Toronto was penalized eight seconds into the frame and the Rams capitalized just six seconds into the power play. Gemmill scored her first of the game when she tipped home a Lauren Nicholson point shot.

Just two minutes and ten seconds later, Gemmill was at it again when she drove to the net from the corner and slid a backhand through the Toronto goaltender’s five-hole to make it 3-0 Ryerson.

“Gemmill was definitely buzzing; any time we had the puck in their end it seemed like she was getting an opportunity and that line 100% drove our offence today and Gemmill was the star of the show on that end,” said Haley.

Toronto found the back of the net at the eight minute mark of the second period as Kiyono Cox converted on the power play to make it a two-goal game, but Gemmill responded just 51 seconds later as she completed the hat trick after a 2-on-1 with Erika Crouse.

Then, the Rams found themselves in penalty trouble and the Varsity Blues made them pay for it. Ryerson took three consecutive penalties and Toronto converted on all three opportunities, including two from Lauren Straatman, to tie the score at 4-4. And the Blues weren’t done there; with 30 seconds left in the frame, Straatman completed a hat trick of her own to give Toronto a 5-4 lead heading to the second intermission.

Gemmill’s fourth goal of the game was the only goal of the third period, which meant overtime was needed.

After all the Rams scoring had been from the top line, it was an unsung hero who shoveled home the overtime winner. Karli Nummikoski, put on the ice as a defensive measure to shut down Toronto’s overtime trio, was able to jam home a loose puck to give Ryerson the victory.

“Knowing (Toronto) would put their best two players on the ice to start the overtime…we matched Nummikoski against that line as much as we could all game and our mindset was to try and get through that first shift and then get our offensive players out there, but “Karl” is our unsung hero – she does so many gritty things for us and I’m really happy and excited for her that she was able to get us the win,” said Haley.

The win moves Ryerson’s record to 10-5-4-2, giving them 40 points on the season and moving them into second place in the OUA. The Rams are back in action next week when they visit the York Lions on Wednesday, February 6.

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