Rams put up good fight against OUA's best
GUELPH, Ont. - A two goal effort by Ailish Forfar (Sharon, Ont.) wasn’t enough for the Ryerson Rams women’s hockey team as they fell 4-2 to the OUA-leading Guelph Gryphons at the Gryphon Centre Arena Wednesday night.
The loss extends Ryerson’s losing streak to three and drops their record to 4-1-7-3. They remain in 11th place with 17 points, five back of the final playoff spot currently held by the eighth place Windsor Lancers (6-1-7-2). Guelph, meanwhile, improves to 11-2-2-1 and now sit eight points up on the second place Nipissing Lakers (8-2-2-2).
The contest may have been the Rams’ third in five days, but you couldn’t tell when the puck dropped. Ryerson got a number of chances on Gryphons’ rookie netminder Aurore Beaulieu in the early goings. Still scoreless late in the frame, Guelph began to wake up offensively. Sophie Contant had a couple of glorious opportunities in the slot with under five minutes remaining, but the Rams’ Rachel Seeley (Ottawa, Ont.) was up to the task. A few brilliant saves by the first year goaltender kept the game scoreless after the first period.
The Gryphons eventually struck on the power play midway through the second. Following some passing around the perimeter of Ryerson’s zone, Guelph’s Katherine Bailey fired a shot from the point that traveled through a sea of legs, eluded Seeley and found the back of the net. Her third of the season made it 1-0.
It would stay that way until early in the third. Some pressure by the Rams right after the intermission forced Gryphons’ defenceman Sophie Rodenburg to trip Lauren Nicholson (Dresden, Ont.) in front of the Guelph net. On the ensuing man advantage, Ryerson’s Kryshanda Green (Brampton, Ont.) dug the puck out of the corner and fired a perfect pass across the front of the goal and right onto the stick of Forfar. She redirected the puck past Beaulieu to knot things up at one 2:51 into the frame.
That tally, the Rams’ first of 2017, ended the team’s scoreless streak that dated back to December 1st, 2016 at 169 minutes and 48 seconds.
The Gryphons responded though. Ashlee Lawrence found the puck in the slot less than four minutes later. Her shot ricocheted off the post, hit Seeley’s back and then rolled between the pipes to restore Guelph’s one goal advantage. They doubled that lead on the power play 70 seconds later.
With Green in the box for slashing, a scramble in front of Ryerson’s net resulted in a few big stops by Seeley before she desperately poke checked the puck away. Unfortunately for her, it ended up right on the stick of the Gryphons’ Kaitlin Lowy. She fired it home for her 11th of the season and a 3-1 Guelph edge.
Emma Forcey’s first career OUA goal made it a three goal spread with seven minutes remaining.
The Rams weren’t done just yet though.
With under two minutes remaining, Green curled out of the corner and slid the puck forward to Forfar in the slot. Her initial shot was stopped by Beaulieu’s pad, but she was able to collect the rebound and tuck it right underneath the crossbar to round out the scoring in this one.
Seeley made 21 saves in the losing effort while Beaulieu stopped 25 shots, including 15 in the third period alone, to pick up the win.
Ryerson finished 1-for-2 on the power play while Guelph scored on both of their opportunities with the man advantage.
The Rams return to Mattamy Home Ice for the first time in 2017 on Saturday afternoon. They host the third place Waterloo Warriors (7-2-5-1) at 2:15 p.m. If you can’t watch the action in person, be sure to enjoy the live broadcast of the game at OUA.tv.
NOTES: Guelph’s Lowy now sits third in the province in goals (11) and tied for second in points (18) with Western’s Lyndsay Kirkham… A couple of assists for Green boosts her point total to 17 (eight goals, nine assists) this season. She is now tied for fourth in the OUA with Windsor’s Shawna Lesperance and Guelph’s Kelly Gribbons… Another rough night on the penalty kill sinks Ryerson’s efficiency to 72.4% this season. That number puts them in a tie for last in the OUA and all of U Sports with the Laurier Golden Hawks. Both squads have surrendered 16 power play goals and been shorthanded 58 times this season.