By Andrea Josic
With just 25.2 seconds left to go in the game against the Laurentian Voyageurs, Ryerson women’s hockey captain Ailish Forfar was blindsided and came crashing onto the ice, head-first.
Forfar laid face down on the ice for 20 minutes until paramedics arrived. Laurentian was not assessed a penalty.
The injury came a day after Forfar, in her final year of play for Ryerson, set the team record for goals (11) and points (22) scored in a single season during Friday’s win against the Nipissing Lakers. After the game, Ryerson head coach Lisa Haley said she wasn’t sure how long Forfar would be out, or how serious her injury will turn out to be.
“I think it’s too early to tell right now what the impact is going to be,” said Haley. “It usually takes 24-48 hours to see what the severity of any injury’s going to be like.”
After the fall, Forfar did not lose consciousness and was able to move her body, but she said there was pain her neck. Paramedics wrapped a brace around Forfar’s neck and carefully lifted her into a stretcher to avoid worsening the injury.
“Once we get all the information in terms of what we’re dealing with, then we’re going to make a plan about how to move forward,” Haley added. “But I’ll tell you one thing, this is a pretty resilient team and nothing’s gonna stop us.”
Rams win 2-1, earn six points on weekend
Although the most significant occurrence on Saturday night was the injury to Forfar, the Rams did manage to earn an important victory with the playoffs around the corner.
With the win, Ryerson moves to a 9-5-5-2 record, placing them fifth overall in the OUA standings.
The Rams scored the first goal of the night in the last minute of the second period. Despite the Voyageurs’ efforts in evening out the score early in the third period, the Rams took back the lead on a goal by Kryshanda Green, assisted by Forfar and Brooklyn Gemmill.
Despite a slow offensive start from Ryerson, the team’s defense was strong, allowing a mere 10 shots from the Voyageurs before scoring their first goal.
With a clean assist from Madison Lalonde, Rams forward Lauren Nicholson attempted a wrap-around and missed but successfully sunk her own rebound.
Ryerson goaltender Fanny Vigeant made an impressive OUA début, stopping 18 out of 19 shots. Five minutes into the third period, Vigeant slipped and Laurentian forward Samantha Morell fired a shot point-blank and tied the game.
Haley knew the risk that came with putting Vigeant on the ice for her first time in over a year, but she never doubted the player’s talent and hard work.
“She was great, she was solid,” said Haley. “She got us the three points that we needed so nice to know we’ve got some great depth in all of our positions.”
The Rams’ next game on Saturday against the Windsor Lancers is their final away game of the season. With the approaching pressure of making the playoffs, focusing on each individual game rather than the bigger picture is what is going to get the points to clinch a playoff spot.
The Rams have three games left until the playoffs, but the six points they took home over the weekend leaves them in a solid position moving forward. Haley hopes to preserve the energy from a four-game winning streak despite the bittersweet reality of Saturday’s game.
“I mean, all that mattered yesterday was the game against Nipissing and all that mattered today was today’s game and making sure that we get points in every game,” said Haley. “All that matters right now is preparing to get ready for a game against Windsor.”
UP NEXT: The Rams will look to build on their four-game winning streak when they head on the road to take on the Windsor Lancers at South Windsor Arena. Puck drop is scheduled for 4 p.m.