(By: Ella Bonaldi)
The Ryerson Rams hosted the Waterloo Warriors in a Friday night tilt at the Mattamy Athletic Centre. Heading into the game, Ryerson was in third place in the Ontario University Athletics [OUA] and hoping to keep their three-game win streak alive.
The early portions of the game did not spark confidence as the Rams fell behind early. Taytum Clairmont of the Warriors scored just two minutes in, with an odd play in front that fooled Ryerson goalie Fanny Vigeant.
The Rams attempted to storm out of their early hole, including a breakaway from Kryshanda Green. Roughly 5 minutes later, however, Waterloo’s Courtney Simpson scored to make it a 2-0 game as Vigeant just couldn’t get the pad down in time.
Ryerson struggled to keep up with Waterloo’s strong puck control in the Rams’ end. Despite some good chances for the Rams in the late stages, the period ended with them down 2-0.
“It’s tough because you feel like you’ve got good control with things[…] and then they get one like that,” Ryerson Coach Lisa Haley said after the game. “That’s a time to be resilient and believe that you can persevere through it.”
And that they did. When the second period began, the Rams had much more jump and slowly gained momentum. At the tail end of a power play midway through the period, Mariah Hinds fired a slapshot from the point that was redirected off a Warriors stick and in. Her fourth goal of the season got the Rams on the board and cut the deficit in half.
The Rams continued to press as the period wore on and soon reached a breaking point. On a two-on-one rush, Olivia Giardetti fired a past Amanda Smith that brought the Rams faithful to their feet and tied the game at 2-2.
“I felt like me and my linemates have been waiting for a goal for a long time,” she said about playing with her new linemates. …”I’ve been grinding extra hard so when I got that goal it was a great feeling.”
While the Rams kept the pressure on, they could not take the lead by the end of the second period. In the third, the Warriors made their push to regain their lead with the Rams scrambling to keep the game close. Coach Haley said that the Rams were lucky to get out of the third with the score tied.
“The third period was definitely Waterloo’s best period,” she said. “They put us on the ropes, and we definitely bent but didn’t break.”
With neither team gaining the lead in the third period, overtime was needed and it didn’t take long for the Rams to pounce. Just two minutes into extra time, Lauren Nicholson fired a snapshot on goal that Smith could not react to in time. Her 11th goal of the season secured the two points and completed an impressive comeback for Ryerson.
Haley was happy with her team’s resilient effort after falling behind early in the game.
“Everytime you win you feel a little bit better about yourself,” she said. “I would also say that the losers are the most prepared teams you’ll find.”
UP NEXT: The Ryerson Rams will look to keep their win streak alive as they head to St Catherine’s to play Brock University tonight. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:15 p.m.
Featured Photo: Courtesy of Hung Le