By Hayden Godfrey
On a frigid Friday night just before the start of Ryerson’s reading week, the Rams women’s hockey team took a short trip to Varsity Arena to face off against the University of Toronto Varsity Blues After all was said and done, the Rams came away with the overtime victory, narrowly prevailing by a score of 2-1 in nail-biting fashion.
“I loved the perseverance by our group” Rams head coach Lisa Haley said after the game. “[They] put a good push on us near the end of the third period…it almost felt like a playoff game for the last ten minutes.”
Though the first half of the opening period featured equal chances on both ends, the Rams jumped out in front thanks to a wiring wrist shot from Elexa Pakozdy that zipped past the left shoulder of Blues goalie Erica Fryer. Skating nimbly in the slot, Pakozdy, a third-year forward out of Port Coquitlam, B.C., went top shelf to put the Rams on the board early.
Outshooting the Rams 13-5 in the first 20 minutes of play, the Blues finally broke through halfway through the second, notching a power-play goal from forward Breanna Berndsen to even it up. Rams goalie Rachel Seeley, thrashing and sprawling about, managed to knock down a few rebounds, but ultimately surrendered a quick snap shot on the short side.
The pivotal third period began with a series of messy penalties and was roughly even throughout. Shots remained marginally uneven, but the Rams managed to play fundamentally sound hockey to send the game to overtime, despite an extremely close call in the dying seconds.
Ultimately, the Rams prevailed with help from Brooklyn Gemmill, who tallied the winning goal just over three minutes into overtime. Excitedly trickling off the ice, the Rams celebrated aptly by congratulating both their goalie, who made 30 saves as their overtime hero.
Confident in her team, Haley simply noted that “it’s going to be an exciting season.”
UP NEXT: The Rams will welcome the Windsor Lancers to open the regular season at the Mattamy Athletic Centre on Sunday, Oct. 14th. Puck drop is schedule is for 4:15 p.m.