Rams take down Queen’s in Game 3, win first ever playoff series

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By Peter Ash

Despite finding themselves down for most of the game, the Ryerson Rams women’s hockey team got the job done as they defeated the Queen’s Gaels 2-1 in overtime to win a series-deciding Game 3.

With the win, the Rams won their first-ever playoff series in program history and will go on to take on the first-seeded Guelph Gryphons in the semifinals of the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) McGraw Cup.

After dropping Game 1, the Rams won a double overtime thriller in Game 2 to send the series back to Queen’s, where they wouldn’t disappoint.

Ryerson forward Mariah Hinds was the hero in this one, netting the game-winning goal in OT, as she snapped a quick wrister in the slot past Queen’s goalie Stephanie Pascal to grab her first goal of the playoffs. Hinds finished with one goal and two penalty minutes.

The pace of the game was somewhat balanced. In the first period, the Gaels controlled the puck and outshot the Rams 12-5, but the game would remain scoreless until the second.

Early on, Queen’s forward Katrina Manoukarakis squeaked through the Rams defence before going top-shelf on Ryerson’s Fanny Vigeant to put the game at 1-0. The score would remain that way heading into the final period.

Despite controlling the pace down the stretch, the Rams found themselves in a tough situation down a goal with 1:15 left in the game. Thankfully for them, second-year forward Karli Nummikoski would tie it, which eventually sent the game in overtime and led to Hinds’ game-winning goal.

Looking forward

The Rams split their two meetings against the Gryphons, losing to them at home and then defeating them on the road.

The OUA’s top ranked team will present the challenge to the Rams, boasting the likes of forward Kaitlin Lowy and arguably the OUA’s best goalie in Valerie Lamente.

UP NEXT: The Rams will head to the Gryphon Centre on Feb. 27. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

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