By Daniel Rocchi
Ryerson’s women’s hockey team fell 3-2 to the Laurier Golden Hawks in a fiercely contested game on Saturday night at the Mattamy Athletic Centre.
Blair Malthaner and Michelle Evagelou scored for the Rams (4-7-0), while goaltender Emma Crawley was outstanding with 31 saves.
“We battled for 60 minutes, that’s it,” said interim head coach Pierre Alain. “I really like[d] it — they’ve worked so hard and they came close.”
The game was a fast-paced and physical one, and gave the Rams plenty of positives to focus on as they continue their season.
“We skated with them, we battled with them along the walls, we were first to a lot of pucks,” said Alain. “I think these were very good, positive points.”
The first period saw plenty of end-to-end action and high-calibre play from both teams, although the Rams were able to manage only one shot on net.
But Crawley kept her team in the game, stopping all 12 shots she faced to keep the game scoreless after 20 minutes.
“Amazing, as always,” said team captain Nella Brodett of her goaltender. “She keeps growing every game.
“We just keep expecting it from her and I think that she’s growing in confidence and you can see it on the ice.”
The Rams came out strong in the second, putting up five shots in the first three and a half minutes of the period, but Laurier (9-2-0) struck first on a powerplay goal just over seven minutes into the frame.
Ryerson tied it quickly when Malthaner buried a rebound after Lauren Lovold hit the post on a partial breakaway near the 12-minute mark of the period.
But Laurier took the lead once again with close to five minutes left, when a terrible give-away led to an easy goal that was deflected in by a Ryerson stick.
The Golden Hawks applied considerable pressure on several powerplay opportunities in the frame’s final minutes, but Crawley was once again excellent in keeping the game within reach for the Rams.
Ryerson tied the score less than 60 seconds into the third on a shot from the circle by Evagelou on a two-man advantage.
The game didn’t stay tied for long, though, once a good cycle and a nice deflection past Crawley gave Laurier another one-goal advantage.
The Rams maintained excellent pressure throughout the remainder of the period, coming close on several chances and pulling Crawley for an extra skater with forty seconds to go, but the Golden Hawk redirection stood up as the game-winner.
It was a penalty-filled affair, but neither team took advantage of their opportunities and both were one-for-eight on the power-play.
The Rams finish 1-1 on their two-game homestand, and will next take on York University, feeling confident that they can be successful.
“We know that we can compete with one of the strongest teams in the country,” said Crawley. “So I think now, from that, we know that pretty much with any team [we can] play a full 60 minutes right to the final buzzer.”
Ryerson faces off against the York Lions on Nov. 23 at 7:30 p.m. at Canlan Ice Sports in York.