Rams lose tough overtime battle against Badgers

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By Justin Walters

The Ryerson Rams women’s hockey team lost a heartbreaker 4-3 in overtime against the Brock Badgers at the Mattamy Athletic Centre on Jan. 16.

Despite killing off a full two-minute penalty in overtime, the Rams weren’t able to hold off the Badgers in their first matchup of the season. The game-winning goal was from Brock forward Morgan Dezell. She found a way to beat Rams goaltender Fanny Vigeant in a scramble by the net to secure the win.

Coming of the gates skating extremely well, the Rams controlled the flow of action as their speed and strong passing resulted in a 2-0 lead. The Rams went up 3-2 in the third period, but the Badgers remained resilient and continued to fight back each time they were down.

It was Avery Horlock feathering a beautiful pass to Rams rookie Emily Baxter, who netted her third goal of the season, that made it 1-0 for the Rams.

Thanks to some strong forechecking, Ryerson forced Badgers defender Kaitlyn Colonna to shoot the puck over the glass and out of play for a penalty.

On the power-play, the Rams moved the puck around perfectly until it found Laura Ball, who snapped a shot from the point through a screen in front. It ended up in the bottom corner of the net, giving Ryerson a 2-0 lead heading into the first intermission.

“I saw traffic in front of the net so I just kind of shot it,” said Ball post-game. “Honestly, [I] didn’t really plan on it going in, I thought someone was going to tip it but it ended up going straight in.”

The Badgers found their legs during the intermission as they entered the second period determined to tie things up.

This time they were forcing Ryerson into some defensive mistakes. Brock forward Niamh Haughey was able to tip in a gorgeous pass from Annie Berg to cut the Rams lead in half.

Late in the second period, Brock forward Mikayla Flanagan picked up a loose puck and wired one off the post and in past Vigeant to tie things up at 2-2.

Entering the third, it was once again the Rams finding themselves on the power-play. They wasted no time regaining the lead as Erika Crouse sniped a shot bar-down past Badgers netminder Jensen Murphy. It was Crouse’s 11th goal of the season, which ties her for first in Ontario University Athletics (OUA).

The Badgers didn’t stand down though, throwing a lot more pucks to the net with about half the period to go. That’s when Cassidy Maplethorpe of the Badgers swiped a loose puck under the pads of Vigeant to tie the game 3-3.

This was the first overtime loss for the Rams this season. They currently sit third in the OUA standings with a 9-5-1-1 record on the season.

“Obviously we want to get as many points as we can,” said Rams head coach Lisa Haley. “To only get one when we had chances to close it [and get two points] tonight stings, but it will make us better moving forward.”

UP NEXT: The Rams are back in action on Jan. 18 as they play host to the Western Mustangs. Puck drop is set for 2:15 p.m.

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