Rams fall to Varsity Blues in tight home opener battle

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By Justin Walters

The Ryerson Rams women’s hockey team suffered a heartbreaking 2-0 loss to the Toronto Varsity Blues on Oct. 23 at the Mattamy Athletic Centre during their home opener.

Through 58 minutes of play, both teams were scoreless.

A back-and-forth game right up until a point shot from Varsity Blues defenceman Christine Chao found its way past Rams goaltender Fanny Vigeant with just 1:14 to go in the final period.

Vigeant, who played a stellar game with 27 saves, she said after the game that she couldn’t see the puck on the go-ahead goal.

“I saw them with it at the point, then I was screened and didn’t see it on its way toward me,” she said.

This game was about as close as it could get. Ryerson dominated the first-period play, outshooting Toronto 11-5. But it didn’t take long though for the Varsity Blues to strike back as they outshot the Rams 14-5 in the next period.

With both teams tied, the final period saw both teams with plenty of chances to score.

Both goaltenders had a spectacular game, but it was Varsity Blues goaltender Madeline Albert who stayed consistent for 60 minutes to earn the shutout.

The Rams struggled on the power play all game, as they went 0-3 on the man advantage.

“We knew Toronto is really strong on the power play and that chances would be few and far between,” said Rams head coach Lisa Haley. “Our goal was to just try to get the puck in deep and once it’s there, keep moving it around until an opportunity becomes available.”

Pressuring the Varsity Blues in the final minute of play, Ryerson wasn’t able to tie it up with forward Mathilde De Serres, adding a goal into the empty net to seal the deal for the Blues. The loss moves Ryerson’s record to 1-2 to start the season.

Despite the heartbreaking finish to this game, head coach Lisa Haley isn’t upset about her team’s performance.

“We thought we played well enough to earn some points,” said Haley. “We had plenty of chances and sometimes they just don’t go in.”

The game was also Ryerson’s annual “School Day Game” with hundreds of students from different elementary schools in attendance to witness an extremely tight matchup between downtown rivals.

“To be back at home in front of a crowd like that, I think it definitely helped us play an even better game,” said Haley. “We have such a special place here that we get to play hockey in.”

UP NEXT: The Rams will look to get back into the win column on Friday as they play host to the Windsor Lancers at the Mattamy Athletic Centre.

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