Rams hold off hungry lions for first preseason win

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By Mario Russo

The Rams Women’s hockey club hung on to a 3-2 lead late in the third to best the visiting York Lions in their preseason opener on Oct. 15 at the Mattamy Athletic Centre.

The opening minutes for the Rams brought just about everything a team could hope for and more. Off the hop, the Rams overwhelmed the visiting York Lions in their own end, peppering the Lion’s goal with shots and deflections from the point. 

Ryerson’s fast-paced game style packed the sin bin early and often in this opening preseason match, with the Lions spending eight of the opening 12 minutes of the contest firing pucks down the ice.

Midway through the first frame, a lethal shot from the stick of forward Lauren Nicholson rang off the mask of the Lions goaltender. The loose puck in front found its way onto the tape of Cailey Davis who made quick work of the opportunity, firing one in the back of the empty goal for the Rams’ first goal of the game.

Davis’ marker would be the lone tally of the frame. 

The intermission served the Lions well as they came into the second frame guns ablazing with four good looks at the net before the Rams even crossed centre ice. That pressure would eventually lead to York’s Courtney Gardiner whipping home a loose puck into the back of the Rams net to tie the game at 1-1. 

Gardiner’s aggressiveness may have sent her to the box twice in the opening period, but early in the second, it was that same energy that got her side level with the Rams. 

The home team would present some much needed pressure of their own following York’s goal. As the game reached its midpoint, Savannah Bouzide slid yet another lonely puck in front of the goal and through the legs of the goaltender to put the Rams back on top. 

However, the biggest takeaway from the second wasn’t the Rams throwing bodies in front of the net and finding twine, but rather a two minute sequence of consistent offensive pressure that saw them pour on five shots on goal. This sequence came immediately after the go-ahead goal and showed just how hungry this group stays on the ice. 

The blue and yellow would fire two more shots before the buzzer, outshooting the Lions 26-12 and more importantly, outscoring the opposition 2-1. 

The final period saw the Rams looking to add insurance and the Lions hunting to even the score. Ryerson would be the club to live up to their end of the bargain, with Lauren Nicholson walking the Lions defender before going bar down. 

The Lions would cash in on a friendly bounce off the end boards late in the frame, but that luck would end right then and there as the side failed to cash in on a late powerplay, propelling the Rams to their first victory of the preseason.

UP NEXT: The Rams turn their attention to the University of Toronto Varsity Blues, Friday Oct. 22. Puck drop is set for 6 p.m.

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