By Raine Hernandez
After finishing a program-best 5th in the OUA a season ago, the Ryerson Rams women’s hockey team started their 2018-19 season off with a bang by defeating the Windsor Lancers 4-2 on Sunday.
Heading into the game, the Rams were looking to build off last season’s success at home where they finished with a 7-3-1 record. This was bolstered by a 3-0 win over Windsor.
While the Rams were playing their first OUA regular season game, the Lancers had kicked off their season the night before against the University of Toronto Varsity Blues where they lost a 5-3 contest.
In the opening frame, it was clear the officials didn’t want it to get too physical. Both teams combined for a total of 10 penalty minutes early. Despite their inability to stay disciplined, the Rams dominated the Lancers on the offensive side of the puck, outshooting them 12 to 4 in the first.
It would be in the second period where the Rams would open the scoring, after Olivia Giardetti capitalized on the rebound to give Ryerson a 1-0 lead. It wouldn’t hold for long, as the Lancers equaled the score at one apiece with a goal from former Mississauga Chief, Jessica Gribbon.
The Lancers would take control in the final 10 minutes of the period following the equalizer, but could not get anything past Ryerson netminder Rachel Seeley.
In the final period of the game, the Rams would start to get things going after a series of opportunities. After failing to convert on a two-man advantage in the first five minutes of the third period, they’d find themselves on the power-play once more.
This time, they were able to take advantage of the Lancers miscue, as veteran forward Mariah Hinds wired one from the point, hitting a Lancers defender before finding its way into the net to give the Rams a 3-2 lead with 10 minutes remaining.
Closing the game wasn’t going to get easy for the Rams, however, as a penalty from Ryerson defender Tori Butler put the Lancers in the powerplay. Thankfully for the home side, Seeley would continue to shut the door down the stretch, leading to a Lauren Nicholson empty-netter from their own zone.
Although the Lancers would score with 30 seconds left to cut the lead to one, the Rams would add another empty-netter to make it 4-2 to put the game away.
“It was fun to feel those nerves again,” said Rams head coach Lisa Haley. “We were definitely excited and anxious to get things going.”
UP NEXT: The Rams will travel to Nipissing to square off against the Lakers on Oct. 19. Puck drop is scheduled for 4:30 p.m.