Rams end a storied season with playoff loss to Lakers
NORTH BAY, Ont. - A record-breaking season was brought to an end Sunday in North Bay as the Ryerson Rams would fall to the Nipissing Lakers 3-0 in game three of the first round, officially facing elimination from the 2018 McCaw Cup playoffs.
Heading into game three with the series tied at one, the Rams had an equal chance to advance to the semfinals. A strong first period by Nipissing put a halt to any impending Ryerson offence, and the Rams visibly struggled in the first 20 minutes of the matchup.
The Lakers would strike early in the game, scoring their first power play goal of the match just three minutes into the first period. Maria Dominico (North Bay, Ont.) has been dangerous throughout the entire series and netted her first career playoff goal with the opening marker against the Rams.
Nipissing would score again after continued offensive pressure deep in Ryerson’s defensive zone, as Kaley Tienhaara (Thunder Bay, Ont.) capitalized on a rebound to give her team a 2-0 lead heading into the first intermission. The Lakers would outshoot the Rams 11-2 after 20 minutes of play.
Some two periods later, Nipissing’s Sam Strassburger added another power play marker for the Lakers. The game and the season would end in heartbreak for the Rams as the team fell to the Lakers by a final score of 3-0.
The end of the season marked the end of several great careers for the Ryerson Rams. Captain Ailish Forfar (Sharon, Ont.), as well as all three alternate captains in Alex Rodriguez (Toronto, Ont.), Sarah McGilvray (Stouffville, Ont.), and Alyssa Connolly (Mount Albert, Ont.) as well as backup goaltender Emily Marshall (Oakville, Ont.) have each had a profound impact on the program during their time with the Rams.
Forfar now holds the team record for the most goals and most points in a single season. Rodriguez, McGilvray, and Connolly together have combined for 285 career games with the Rams, each playing four straight seasons for the team. The 2017-18 class of graduating seniors have been necessary in facilitating such a fantastic season, and their presence will certainly be missed next year.
Though the season did not end on an ideal note, the Rams have a lot to be proud of. With a group of impressive rookies and other key returning players, the holes left by the graduating players will inevitably be filled by the time the puck drops next year. A record-breaking season is the legacy this year’s team leaves behind, and the Rams have undeniably started on the path to success in the upcoming years.