By Ben Okazawa
Following a 3-0 loss to the Waterloo Warriors back in November, the Ryerson Rams women’s hockey team was back in action with the same team on Jan. 12, looking for revenge at the Mattamy Athletic Centre (MAC).
After an even first two periods that saw the score level at 1-1, Ryerson took over late in the second period in what was an extremely physical game.
It all started with forward Kryshanda Green, who scored her fourth goal of the season to tie the game, assisted by Keelin Farren, with just 1:27 left to go in the second period.
“Every game from now on…we’re gonna treat it like a playoff game,” said Green about the importance of the remaining games this season.
With 9:42 left in the third period, Rams forward Olivia Giardetti scored a go-ahead goal, assisted by Lauren Nicholson and Keelin Farren.
Just 36 seconds later, reigning U Sports Rookie of the Year, Erika Crouse, placed the puck perfectly in the top right corner off an assist by Laura Ball to give Ryerson a commanding 3-1 lead.
Waterloo failed to score again and the Rams came away with the victorious on home ice. They improve to 10-5 on the season and are tied for second in the Ontario University Athletics standings.
Although Ryerson is a smaller team in size compared to Waterloo, Crouse felt as though the physicality of the game helped them secure the win.
“We’re not the biggest,” acknowledged Crouse. “But we do have a lot of heart, so when we’re physical it just gives us more momentum as we go.”
The first period saw a lot of physical play, with each team getting nailed by the referees for body-checking penalties.
Ryerson was unable to capitalize on their power-play opportunity early on, but Waterloo quickly took full advantage of their 5-4 advantage—scoring in 18 seconds. Warriors forward Taytum Clairmont nailed a shot from the blue line to put her team up by a goal heading into the first intermission.
The second period saw the physicality from the first period escalate. Giardetti went down first and had to be helped to the locker room early in the period.
Two Waterloo injuries came soon after when defenders Emma Cheeseman and Brooklyn Sarnovsky helped off the ice.
The Sarnovsky hit, in particular, had visiting Waterloo fans furious at the non-call by the referees, as they felt there should have been a penalty handed out on the big hit by Ryerson defender, Laura Ball.
Play continued and after a long period of the Rams forwards putting pressure on Waterloo’s first-year goalie Mikayla Schnarr, Ryerson was able to equalize.
The 3-1 victory is the first of three consecutive home games for the Rams. To close out the season, the team will play six of their last 10 games at the MAC.
UP NEXT: The Rams women’s hockey team will look to push their winning streak to three games at home against Brock on Jan. 16. Puck drops at 7:15 p.m.