Mustangs' power play tramples Rams
TORONTO - Less than 24 hours after going a perfect 5-for-5 against the Windsor Lancers in a 2-1 loss, the Ryerson Rams women’s hockey team struggled on the penalty kill against the Western Mustangs. The Mustangs’ lethal power play finished 3-for-5 to power them to a 6-3 victory over the Rams on Mattamy Home Ice Saturday afternoon.
“It wasn’t as clean as it has been,” said Ryerson’s head coach Lisa Haley about her team’s penalty kill. “I think we were a little bit slow making some reads in terms of rotation and let them get a couple of good looks and score on some rebounds. I loved our PK yesterday, but today (showed) there’s room for growth.”
Overshadowed by the final score was Ryerson’s success on the man advantage. After a slow start to the season in that department, the Rams’ powerplay exploded for three goals on six opportunities.
“I think it started yesterday with us moving the puck well and we continued to do that today,” said Ryerson forward Kryshanda Green (Brampton, Ont.) about her team’s play while up a man. “We found our openings, got the other team moving and we continued to find the back of the net.”
Following goals by Western’s Lyndsay Kirkham and Anthea Lasis in the first period, Green made it a 2-1 game only 2:34 into the second period when she tipped a point shot by Justine Johnson (Burnaby, B.C.) past Mustangs’ goaltender Katie Jacobs.
Western’s Ali Beres restored her squad’s two goal cushion on the man advantage five minutes later. Her goal ended the afternoon for Sydney Authier (Wallaceburg, Ont.) in Ryerson’s net. The sophomore goaltender surrendered three goals on ten shots and was replaced by first-year Rachel Seeley (Ottawa, Ont.)
“I think the goalie change was necessary to give our team a spark,” said Haley about her decision. “It helped a little bit, but I guess at the end of the day we ran out of time.”
The change seemed to ignite the Rams. Ryerson’s Ailish Forfar (Sharon, Ont.) won a faceoff in the Mustangs’ zone while on the power play and fired a quick shot on net. Alone in front, Green potted the rebound to make it 3-2.
A little later in the frame, Western found a way to respond once again on the man advantage. Kirkham netted her second of the game at the 13:56 mark to make it 4-2 and put the pressure back on Ryerson.
It took a bit of time, but the Rams got back within one once again late in the third. Alex Rodriguez (Toronto) received a pass from Green in the high slot on the power play and wired the puck over the shoulder of Jacobs and into the back of the net. The first goal by a Ryerson defenceman this season made it 4-3.
From there, the Rams pushed hard to find the equalizer, but empty netters by Kirkham and April Clark sealed it for the Mustangs.
Jacobs finished with 27 saves in the winning effort while Seeley was solid in relief. She turned aside 15 of the 16 shots she faced.
The loss, Ryerson’s second in regulation in as many games, drops their record to 1-1-3-2. They currently sit tied for eleventh with the York Lions.
Western improves to 3-1-3-0 and move into sixth place.
The Rams will enjoy an extended break before they return to regular season action. Their next game isn’t until Saturday, November 12th when they take on the Queen’s Gaels (4-0-4-0) in Kingston. Puck drop is scheduled for 2:30 p.m.
A QUICK LOOK AT SPECIAL TEAMS
The tough night on the penalty kill drops the Rams’ efficiency to 70.8% so far this season. That puts them last in the province. On the other hand though, Ryerson’s power play has taken off. After starting the campaign 0-for-9, the Rams have scored on four of their last nine opportunities. Their 22.2% efficiency this year is second in the OUA behind Western (25.0%).
With two goals and an assist, Green now has ten points this season. That puts the former Western Mustang into a four way tie for first in OUA scoring… Along with her goal, Rodriguez also picked up an assist on Green’s first tally of the game. Her two point outing was the first of her career.