TORONTO - A parade to the penalty box in the second period sunk the Ryerson Rams women’s hockey team in their clash with the Guelph Gryphons Saturday afternoon. Tied 2-2 midway through the frame on Mattamy Home Ice, Lauren Nicholson (Dresden, Ont.) and Stephanie Chiste (Schomberg, Ont.) picked up back-to-back minors to give the Gryphons a lengthy 5-on-3 advantage.
Still on the powerplay after taking the lead, defenceman Katherine Bailey fired a slapshot from the point that made its way through a sea of legs and into the back of the net. Her first goal of the year only 34 seconds after Gribbons’ marker rounded out the scoring as the Gryphons held on to win 4-2.
The Rams' first loss in regulation this season drops their record to 1-0-1-2. They remain in a tie for ninth place in the OUA standings with the Western Mustangs and York Lions.
The Gryphons, the defending OUA champions, improve to 2-1-1-1 and vault into a tie for second place with the Laurentian Voyageurs.
“I think we lost our discipline a little bit on the ice,” said Ryerson forward Kryshanda Green (Brampton, Ont.) after the game. “We got a couple of penalties which switched the momentum over to the Guelph side. But, ultimately, we just weren’t executing in our own zone. We were scrambling a little bit and that’s what kind of put us down.”
Green got the Rams off to an extremely quick start in the opening period. Just nine seconds in, she swatted a loose puck past Gryphons’ goaltender Aurore Beaulieu to give Ryerson a 1-0 edge.
“We want to start early and we want to start fast,” said Green about her second tally of the season. “My centre Ailish Forfar (Sharon, Ont.) worked hard to get that puck down the ice and I was just glad to get down there, put it towards the net and get a goal early.”
It wasn’t the ideal start for Beaulieu in her OUA debut, but fortunately for her, Guelph responded less than two minutes later. Gribbons skated into the zone, picked up her own rebound after firing a backhander on net and tucked it between Sarna’s pads to knot things up at one.
It would stay that way until a little over five minutes into the second. Gryphons’ first-year forward Kristen Jay received a pass in her defensive zone and broke down the right wing. She crossed the blueline, cut towards the net and put a perfect shot between the glove and pad of Sarna on the short side. The first goal of Jay’s OUA career gave Guelph their first lead of the game.
Two minutes later, Ryerson evened things back up. Nicholson picked up a loose puck near the point and ripped a wrister over Beaulieu’s right shoulder. The first-year’s second goal of the season tied things up at two. From there, the penalty trouble began and the Gryphons struck twice on the man advantage.
Sarna finished with 19 saves in her first start of the season while Beaulieu stopped 22 of the 24 shots she faced to secure her first OUA victory.
The Rams won’t have much time to dwell on this result. They travel to Oshawa Sunday afternoon to face off against the UOIT Ridgebacks (2-0-2-1). The action at the Campus Ice Centre is scheduled to get underway at 3:30 p.m and will be broadcasted live on OUA.tv.
Through four games this season, the line of Green, Forfar and Nicholson has scored seven of the team’s eight goals.
With her assist on Green’s goal, Forfar stretched her point streak to four straight games. She now has three goals and four points this season… Ryerson was only able to dress five regular defencemen for the game due to injuries… The Gryphons finished 2-for-5 on the powerplay while the Rams went 0-for-1.