The speed and effective passing of the Mustangs (14-4-1) opened up the Rams (2-15-1) who conceded three goals on breakaways and odd-man rushes in a span of 7:19.
"Games like this are difficult because we have so much potential, but don't show it Victoria Arci (Woodbridge, Ont.), the Rams lone scorer said. "We don't do the things we practice; we try individual plays, which don't work in hockey because it's a team game. It's frustrating."
Jessica Ross opened the scoring for Western on a 2-on-1 rush at 16:34 of the first period. Ross opted to shoot instead of dishing the puck and went upstairs on Dana Carson (London, Ont.).
Western showcased their passing in the second period as Cassidy Gosling (London, Ont.)sent Kendra Deller (London, Ont.) in alone on a clear breakaway with a beautiful pass from her own end. Deller made no mistake, converting on her one-on-one chance at 2:57.
Fifty-six seconds later, Western's Casey Rosen was hauled down on a shorthanded breakaway and issued a penalty shot. The Toronto native scored high glove side on Carson to extend the lead to 3-0.
A part from the seven-minute span, the Rams played a sound defensive game. They held a nationally ranked opponent to zero goals in the back half of the game and kept Western's best player, Stacey Scott, off of the score sheet.
"There were some encouraging things," head coach Lisa Haley said. "Western's a top 10 team and our players are right there. We are showing that we can compete with some of the better teams in our conference and it's a matter of being able to execute."
The Rams held the advantage in shots 39-26, but a majority of those were low percentage shots and were easily stopped by Kelly Campbell (St. Thomas, Ont.).
"I think a lot of our shots in the first period came from outside their blueline," Haley said. "It has a lot to do with scoring chances than shots on goal. The shot clock is generous to us, but I felt as the game went on we were a lot more dangerous."
Arci put the Rams on the board with a power play goal at 12:36 of the third period and Melissa Wronzberg had a good scoring chance on a power move through the slot shortly after.
Carson made her fourth consecutive start for the Rams, stopping 23 of 26 shots in the loss. She earned praise from her coach, but Haley said Carson may get the day off tomorrow to rest up for a long road to London and Windsor next weekend.
The Rams have a quick turnaround as they play their downtown rivals, U of T, tomorrow afternoon. Puck drop is 4 p.m. at Varsity Arena.