TORONTO — The Ryerson Rams are heading into 2017-18 armed with nine new recruits and two key transfers, a young core with another year of OUA experience under their belts, and a burning desire to return to the OUA playoffs.

Ask anyone around the Ryerson Rams women's hockey team how they would evaluate their 2016-17 season, and there's a good chance the word "disappointing" would be mentioned every time. A year removed from the program's first playoff appearance, the Rams took a step back, missing the playoffs in a season where offence was hard to come by.

Despite the setback last year, a new season brings new hope and the Rams are definitely hopeful heading into 2017-18.

KEY DATES

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 15TH, 2017 | RAMS AT YORK — REGULAR SEASON OPENER

In their two meetings last year, Ryerson and York played each other tight. The meeting at Mattamy Home Ice was decided by one goal and the game at Canlan Ice Sports went to a shootout. Unfortunately for the Rams, they were on the short end of the stick in each of the two games, getting swept in the season series. York also had their fair share of struggles last year, finishing three points back of the Rams for second-last in the OUA. The regular season opener is a winnable game for Ryerson, but starting out on the right foot won't be easy against their crosstown foes.

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 22ND, 2017 | RAMS VS LAURIER — HOME OPENER

Mattamy Home Ice did not provide the comfort for the Rams last season, going 5-and-12 at home on the year. But if Ryerson wants to make it back to the postseason in 2017-18, taking advantage of home ice will be an imperative part of their game to improve upon. Laurier is the last of three teams comprising the basement of last season's OUA standings—joining Ryerson and York—so this is certainly a winnable game for Lisa Haley's Rams. Ryerson went 2-and-0 against the Golden Hawks in 2016-17 and will look to continue to build upon that winning streak.

SATURDAY, JANUARY 20TH, 2017 | RAMS VS TORONTO — Last Toronto Rivalry night of the regular season 

Without question the Toronto Varsity Blues are the most dominant of the three Toronto universities. Last year the Rams split their season series with them, with each team winning their game at home. Toronto is as big of a rival as Ryerson has, and sparks fly every time these neighbouring univeristies face off.

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 17TH, 2017 | RAMS VS GUELPH — Make it or break it night

In the final game of the regular season the Rams will host the reigning McCaw Cup champions in a game that could decide whether or not Ryerson realizes their playoff ambitions. More often than not, the OUA comes down to the final night. Therefore, the trick for the Rams will be to lock up a spot in the postseason before the puck drops on the regular season finale. Even if they are able to make it in, the game could prove vital in terms of their final playoff seeding. With so much on the line, it's a game you certainly won't want to miss.


You can view the rest of the Ryerson Rams women's hockey schedule here.