Slow start sinks Rams against Lions
TORONTO - The York Lions came to the Mattamy Athletic Centre looking to break their seven game skid and, unfortunately for the Ryerson Rams, they were successful. The Lions brought a real sense of urgency to the ice for sixty minutes and that translated into a 4-3 victory over the Rams in OUA regular season women’s hockey action Thursday night.
Like they have so often over the past few games, the Rams started slowly and York took advantage. The Lions’ line of Christina Chin, Amy Locke and Erin Locke generated a number of chances. Ryerson’s goaltender Sydney Authier (Wallaceburg, Ont.) was up to the task though and made a handful of stops on quality opportunities to keep it scoreless early. There wasn’t much that she could do on a York power play late in the period though.
After the Lions won a faceoff in the Rams’ zone, the puck was sent back to York’s Taylor Davison at the left point. The first-year blueliner fired a perfect shot through a crowd, off the far post and into the back of the net to give the Lions the 1-0 lead 14:23 into the opening frame. The Locke sisters picked up assists.
It would stay that way until York struck again midway through the second. Following a cross checking penalty by Rachel Dowdall (Courtice, Ont.), the Lions established control deep in Ryerson’s zone. Some great work by a pinching Cynthia St-Cyr down low eventually led to her finding Dana Somerville unmarked in the slot. The fifth-year forward collected the puck and snapped it past Authier seconds after the penalty expired to extend the Lions’ advantage to two.
The Rams got back within one a few minutes later. A poor change by York allowed Ryerson’s Laura Ball (Toronto) to fire a puck down the ice to the Rams’ forwards. A few moments later, Alyssa Connolly (Mount Albert, Ont.) deposited a rebound into the back of the net off a Dowdall point shot. Her first of the year cut the Lions’ lead to 2-1 after forty minutes.
Ryerson tied things up less than two minutes into the third. A centring pass by Bethany Clipper (Cambridge, Ont.) from the half boards took a few deflections before teammate Karli Nummikoski (Thunder Bay, Ont.) shoveled it past York’s netminder Eva Hall to make it 2-2.
The Lions’ Amy Locke and Ryerson’s Lauren Nicholson (Dresden, Ont.) traded goals midway through the frame. Then, less than two minutes after Nicholson’s tying marker, York’s Justine Treadwell scored a fluky goal to give her side a one goal advantage once again.
Despite their efforts, the Rams couldn’t find the equalizer for the third time and had to settle for their first loss in three games.
“I thought York played the game they needed to to come out of here with some points,” said Ryerson’s head coach Lisa Haley after the final buzzer. “We keep easing into games and that’s not going to work for us. If we can outshoot and out-possess a team for the final forty minutes, what’s different in the first period? We’ve taken (the first period) off way too many times and playing from behind is real tough.”
Authier made 20 saves in the losing effort and was pulled in favour of Rachel Seeley (Ottawa, Ont.) after the fourth York goal. Seeley stopped three shots in her half period of work. At the other end of the ice, Hall made 40 saves in her first start of the season to get the win in net.
“We would counter, get one back and then for them to be able to score right after that, it’s on all of us,” said Haley about the goaltending change. “We score a big goal to tie it up and we want to hold onto that momentum. I think as an entire group we failed to do that and at the end of the day, Syd pays the price for that. But, I don’t care who we’re playing, giving up four goals in our own rink is not acceptable.”
The loss drops Ryerson’s record to 3-1-4-2 and keeps them tenth in the standings. They’ll look to rebound Saturday afternoon against the UOIT Ridgebacks (3-0-4-3). Puck drop at the Mattamy Athletic Centre is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. If you can’t make it to the rink, catch all of the action live at OUA.tv.
NOTES: This was the sixth straight game that the Rams gave up the opening goal… Dowdall finished with two assists for her first multiple point game in a Ryerson jersey… A night off the scoresheet breaks the eight game scoring streak that Kryshanda Green (Brampton, Ont.) was on. She remains fourth in the OUA with 13 points so far this season.