By Pamela Johnston
The last game before heading into the holiday recess turned out to be a heart-breaker for the Ryerson women’s hockey team Sunday at the Mattamy Athletic Centre, with a 4-3 loss against the Laurentian Voyageurs.
The Rams found momentum late in the second period sparking a comeback after a slow start to the game. The score was tied at three midway through the third, but with just over a minute remaining, the Voyageurs sealed the victory.
“We came back, it was great,” said interim head coach Pierre Alain. “We battled back, but we came up short in the end because our first period was average.”
Rookie forward Clare Sabine scored first for the Rams with an assist from Jessica Hartwick off the power play at 9:30 in the second. Another Ryerson goal before the intermission was called back when refs determined it was kicked in.
Though they were still down 3-1 at the beginning of the last period, the Rams had taken control of the game – out shooting the Voyageurs 15-5 in the second.
With under two minutes into the third period, the Rams took advantage of the power play and lit the light for the second time. The deflection past the Laurentian goaltender was Nella Brodett’s third goal of the season, assisted by Victoria Arci and Emily Popelar.
The Rams kept the puck for the majority of time left on the clock and with 10 minutes to go, Melissa Wronzberg tipped in the equalizing goal from a rocket shot just inside the blue line.
“It was the whole team, in between periods, that said that we still have a chance,” said the third-year forward. “We weren’t going to give up.”
But the morale boost fell short with just 1:24 left in the game when Laurentian’s MacAuley Carr broke through two Ryerson defenders and placed the puck out of Cassi McNichol’s reach, into the net.
McNichol, who was substituted into the game for Emma Crawley, said the momentum change was huge on the ice even though it didn’t end in Ryerson’s favour.
“It’s a little bit heartbreaking but at the same time we have to keep our heads up, we know we battled back,” said Wronzberg.“So we have to take it and learn from it and make sure that in the second half [of the season] we come out strong from the beginning.”
The Rams now have more than a month break without any games, but Alain has no intention for the focus of his team to falter.
“The team all together, they have committed to work a lot off ice, and also on the ice,” he said.
As for the players from out of town, they will have a training program to maintain while at home over the holidays.
“We just all have to stay committed and make sure we don’t take the month as a complete break,” Wronzberg said. “But we’re working out and hitting the ice so that we come back in top shape.”
The Rams return to home ice on Jan. 9, 2014 at 7:30 p.m. to kick start the second half of their season against the UOIT Ridgebacks.