Rams season ends with quarter-final loss to Lakers

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By Mikayla Guarasci

The Rams women’s hockey team fell 3-1 to the Nipissing Lakers on Saturday night, ending their season in the McCaw Cup quarter-final. 

The Lakers and Rams came into this game as the OUA East’s second and third seeds, respectively. 

The first period was back and forth with both teams exchanging chances. It was the visiting Rams who got on the board first with a powerplay goal. Rams forward Brooklyn Gemmill put the puck past Lakers goaltender Chloe Marshall to put her team ahead 1-0. Cailey Davis and Olivia Giardetti picked up the assists on the goal.

The lead didn’t stick long though, as Brianna Gaffney answered back for the Lakers. Nipissing had a three-on-one opportunity and Gaffney was able to put the puck up and over the shoulder of Rams goalie Rachel Seeley and into the net. 

The teams left the ice after 20 minutes locked at one and the Rams outshot the Lakers 13-11 in the frame.

Come the second period, it was Gaffney who found the back of the net for her second of the night to put the Lakers ahead. The goal came on the powerplay just four minutes into the period with Maria Dominico and Katelyn Heppner assisting on the goal.

The Lakers added 13 shots to their total and Seeley stood tall between the pipes to keep the Rams in the game. The visitors had seven shots in the period, but couldn’t find the back of the net, heading into the final period down 2-1.

The third period remained 2-1 thanks to Seeley’s strong play. She continued to come up with big saves for the Rams as they tried to tie things up. Nipissing didn’t allow the Rams much time or space, making a comeback effort difficult.

With 48 seconds left in the third period, the Rams headed to a pivotal powerplay. They went on a six-on-four advantage, pulling Seeley for the extra attacker just before the call. While the Rams had a number of chances, they couldn’t tie things up.

Gaffney completed her hat trick, scoring on the empty net in the dying seconds of the game to secure a semi-final berth for the Lakers.

The final shots on goal saw the Lakers outshoot the Rams 32-25.

This loss means the end of the Rams’ season and quest for the 2022 McCaw Cup.

UP NEXT: The Rams head into the offseason looking to rebound in the fall.

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