By Hayden Godfrey
All good things must come to an end.
For the Ryerson Rams women’s hockey team, that saying was never more true than on Friday night, when the team fell 1-0 to the Guelph Gryphons in Game 2 of their semi-final series, eliminating them from postseason contention.
“I’d liked to have gotten one more game,” Rams head coach Lisa Haley told The Eye. “We know that we’ve done a lot, but we also know there’s a lot of hunger to be better next year.”
Though the Rams came out of the gate strong in a fast-paced and surprisingly physical first period, early penalty trouble prevented them from getting on the board in the period.
Less than a minute into the second, the Gryphons dealt the first blow when Claire Merrick’s high wrist shot barely sailed past the whirring glove of Rams goaltender Fanny Vigeant.
“We know that we’ve done a lot, but we also know there’s a lot of hunger to be better next year”
The last half of the second period, one of the most uneventful stretches for the team in recent memory, was scoreless and featured an abundance of penalties on both sides
Playing with immense passion and heart in the third, the Rams spent some time on the penalty kill, reducing the frequency of their scoring chances. Still, they kept Guelph within one for much of the frame.
After a timeout and a Guelph penalty, Ryerson showed signs of life, getting some scoring chances in front of Gryphons goalie Valerie Lamenta. Unfortunately, it wouldn’t lead to any goals.
Despite an outstanding effort, the Gryphons managed to hold on for the close 1-0 victory. As Haley mentioned earlier, the women’s hockey team played in five playoff games this season, four of which were decided by just one goal.
“This isn’t just a team, they’re a bunch of sisters,” Rams defender Laura Ball said post-game. “I think that’s what helps pull through a lot of things. We came just a little bit short today.”
Notably, this is the farthest the women’s hockey program has made it in the OUA playoffs.
Moving forward, Haley says the program will focus on nurturing and growing their young core while grooming some of their veteran players in their final years with the team.