Rams fall to Voyageurs in shootout
TORONTO - It took three periods, two overtimes and a shootout that lasted four rounds, but the Laurentian Voyageurs were able to knock off the Ryerson Rams women’s hockey team 3-2 on Mattamy Home Ice Friday night.
The loss drops Ryerson’s record to 4-2-11-4 and mathematically eliminates them from playoff contention with three games remaining on their 2016-17 schedule. Laurentian, meanwhile, improves to 10-1-9-2 and vaults into a tie for fifth place in the OUA standings with the Windsor Lancers (10-1-8-2).
The Voyageurs got off on the right foot in this one. Three weeks after scoring a late power play marker to knock off the Rams 1-0 in Sudbury, Laurentian’s Morgan McCann took advantage of a breakaway opportunity early. One-on-one with Ryerson’s Sydney Authier (Wallaceburg, Ont.), McCann fired a hard wrister from the hash marks that Authier turned aside. McCann didn’t give up on the play though and was able to swat the rebound out of the air on her backhand and into the back of the net. The athletic tally gave her side the lead only 55 seconds in.
The middle frame was one filled with chances for both sides. Back-to-back minor penalties called against the Voyageurs gifted the Rams a long man advantage. Despite many quality shots and plenty of puck possession, Ryerson couldn’t put the tying goal past Laurentian’s starting goaltender Karen Collins.
Later in the period, penalties against the Rams’ Lauren Nicholson (Dresden, Ont.) and Elexa Pakozdy (Port Coquitlam, B.C.) on the same play set up a two minute 5-on-3 power play for the Voyageurs. Ryerson’s defenders battled hard though and Authier made a number of key stops to keep it a one goal game.
Three-and-a-half minutes into the third, the Rams found the back of the net. Sarah McGilvray (Stouffville, Ont.) received a pass from Stephanie Chiste (Schomberg, Ont.) at Laurentian’s blue line, skated into the slot and ripped a backhander into the top right corner. McGilvray’s third of the year tied things up at one and provided Ryerson with the spark that they needed.
A little over three minutes later, the Rams’ Michelle Evagelou (Scarborough, Ont.) stripped the puck from a Voyageurs’ defender and flew down the right side of the ice. The fifth year crossed the blue line, cut toward the net and fired a shot between the pipes. The shorthanded marker, her first of the season, put Ryerson up 2-1 for the time being.
A crucial faceoff win by Laurentian with less than eight minutes remaining resulted in the puck on the stick of Marie-Pierre Pelissou at the left point. The defenceman quickly loaded up and fired a cannon of the slap shot the made its way through everything and past Authier to even things up at two.
The rest of the third period and two overtime periods didn’t solve anything so, for the second straight game, the fate of the Rams would come down to a shootout.
Following goals by Ailish Forfar (Sharon, Ont.) and Alex Rodriguez (Toronto) for Ryerson and tallies by Brooklyn Davis and McCann for Laurentian, both shooters missed their chances in the third round.
In the fourth, a shot by the Rams’ Nicholson was saved by Collins and set up a game-winning opportunity for the Voyageurs’ Sara Habal. The third-year defenceman came down on Authier, pulled her to the right side and barely snuck her shot past the sophomore goaltender to end the game and give Laurentian two vital points.
A busy weekend schedule doesn’t give Ryerson much time to reflect on the loss. They’ll host the No. 9 Nipissing Lakers tomorrow night. The Lakers won the last meeting in North Bay by a score of 2-0 earlier this season. The fun gets underway on Mattamy Home Ice at 7:15 p.m.
NOTES: Tomorrow’s contest will be Ryerson’s last home game of the season. Graduating seniors Stephanie Chiste (Schomberg, Ont.), Danelle Im (Toronto), Michelle Evagelou (Scarborough, Ont.), Justine Glover (Wasaga Beach, Ont.) and Blair Malthaner (Toronto) will be honoured before puck drop for their time in a Rams’ jersey.