By Devin Jones
The Ryerson women’s hockey team got their first win of the season, defeating the Brock Badgers at home, 2-1.
Coming into Thursday night’s game, the Rams were 0-5 in Ontario University Athletic (OUA) play. But it was the play from winger Emma Rutherford — scoring two pretty goals — that gave Ryerson it’s big win, allowing the team to breathe sigh of relief.
“It’s a big relief for sure, as I’ve said previously we can only ride the ‘we’re playing well, it’s a matter of time’ speech for so long, so it’s great to see us get rewarded for a great effort tonight,” said head coach Lisa Haley. “Obviously we still have a steep hill to climb but it is a little bit of weight off the shoulders.”
The first period saw a battle between two evenly matched teams. Physical play in the corners, and the Rams power play ended up with (position) Blair Malthaner scoring at the 9:17 mark of the opening period. But the Badgers would respond barely a minute later, as Sophie Herbert scored shorthand, tying the game at one.
Defensively, the Rams saw a Brock team exerting heavy pressure in their end, causing Ryerson cough up the puck on multiple occasions. Yet starting goalie Alex Armstrong stayed poised, stopping 23 of 25 throughout.
“We did have some turnovers tonight but we still kept our ground in the defensive zone and covered each other whenever it did happen, so we were able to keep our d-zone safe,” Rutherford said.
The third period saw the Rams fight off a feisty Brock team looking to spoil Ryerson’s first potential victory of the season. It was Rutherford with her second goal of the game that sealed the deal for Ryerson, giving them the win they desperately wanted. Despite a late period goal drawing Brock within one, the Rams were able to hold strong, stifling any late Badger momentum. Rams forward Paulena Jakarsezian looked strong having multiple good chances throughout the game.
“It’s good to get the monkey off my back, it’s been a really long time, I’ve been waiting since the first game for this so it’s great to put some in tonight,” Rutherford said.
The Rams have two weeks off before taking to the ice again on Nov. 13 against the Waterloo Warriors at the Mattamy Athletic Centre. The puck drops at 7:30 p.m.
“I think right now is an opportunity for them to focus on academics, it’s a really busy time in the semester, lots of midterms and assignments. I think this break comes at the right time,” Haley said. “We’ll allow them to focus on the academics and shorten up the practises since we have another week to prepare.”