By Ben Waldman
The Ryerson women’s hockey team opened its preseason with a 2-1 victory over the Carleton Ravens at the Mattamy Athletic Centre. The win came against a familiar face in former coach Pierre Alain, now head coach of the Ravens.
Alain took over coaching duties for the Rams last season while coach Lisa Haley took a year off to work with Team Canada at the Sochi Olympics, where she won a gold medal as a member of the coaching staff.
On the ice, the Rams showed tenacity, grit, and at times sheer dominance over Carleton.
The Ravens were pounded with a barrage of shots on net before Rams forward Paulena Jakarsezian potted the first goal of the game early in the third period.
Carleton tied the score soon after, before third-year forward Michelle Evagelou scored an unassisted goal to give the Rams a lead and the win.
“We definitely brought a whole new level to our game,” said Jessica Hartwick, a defender, acknowledging both Haley and Alain as reasons behind that improvement.
“It was a fun twist to be able to face each other,” said Haley, who has coached with Alain in the past for Canada’s national program.
Alain was anxious leading up to his return to Ryerson, but he felt deep gratitude for the opportunity he had to coach the Rams last season.
“It was the stepping stone, and really the reason I got the job at Carleton this year,” he said.
“It was a comforting feeling for me,” said Haley on Alain being the one to take her place. “I thought he would be a great fit and he really was.”
The Rams continue their preseason schedule Saturday Sept. 25, when they take on the Concordia Stingers at home at 3 p.m.