By Peter Ash
- Ryerson mathematically eliminated from OUA playoff contention
- Rams and Voyageurs combine for 82 shots on net
- Ryerson kills off all seven Laurentian powerplay chances
Ryerson’s women’s hockey team couldn’t capitalize on a brief third-period lead on Friday night, falling 3-2 in a shootout loss to the Laurentian Voyageurs at the Mattamy Athletic Centre.
The Rams move to a 4-2-11-4 record and have lost eight of their last 10 games dating back to Dec. 1. Trailing eighth-place Western by 12 points with three regular season games left, the 11th-place Rams will miss the OUA playoffs for the second straight season.
The goaltenders from both teams truly stepped up in this contest, with Rams goaltender Sydney Authier making 36 saves and Voyageurs netminder Karen Collins stopping 41 pucks of her own for the win. Laurentian defenceman Sara Habal scored the shootout winner, giving her squad their first post-regulation win of the regular season. It was the Rams’ second straight shootout loss.
The Voyageurs got off to a fast 1-0 lead early in the first period, as second-year forward Morgan McCann netted her team-leading 10th goal on a breakaway just 55 seconds in. A Laurentian body checking penalty would give the Rams a chance to tie it up on the power play but Ryerson failed to tally a shot on net during the two-minute window. Despite outshooting Laurentian 12-10 in the frame, the Rams went to the locker room down by one, with Laurentian’s smothering defence forcing the home team to take a lot of low-percentage shots.
The goaltender duel started to form in the middle stages of the second period, as both Collins and Authier fought off tremendous scoring chances to keep the game close. Penalties became a factor as the Voyageurs committed two minors and the Rams committed four minor infractions of their own—including two at the same time to set up a two-minute five-on-three. Neither team would capitalize on their powerplay opportunities as the Voyageurs took their 1-0 lead into the third period.
Ryerson would finally come alive in the final frame of regulation, capitalizing on Laurentian’s fourth penalty of the game. After receiving a quick pass from captain Stephanie Chiste, third-year winger Sarah McGilvray flicked a beautiful backhand to score her third goal of the season. Three minutes later, the Rams took a one-goal lead as Michelle Evagelou took advantage of a Voyageur turnover to score a clean shorthanded goal. The Voyageurs wouldn’t let the momentum shift towards the home team’s way, generating scoring opportunities of their own before Laurentian blueliner Marie-Pierre Pelissou broke through Ryerson’s defences and scored the equalizer with just over seven minutes left in regulation.
The teams combined for 16 shots in the two overtime frames, but both would fail to score before Laurentian triumphed in the shootout.
UP NEXT: The Rams take on the Nipissing Lakers—the only OUA team Ryerson has never beaten—on Saturday, Feb. 11 at the Mattamy Athletic Centre in their final home game of the season. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:15 p.m.