Photo by Christian Bender

Rams historic season comes to an end

By Luke Bellus

TORONTO - There was one very consistent message after Friday's game: this young Ryerson group will learn from these playoffs.  

All three of head coach Lisa Haley, fourth-year Laura Ball, and goalie Fanny Vigant spoke about the young core of this team, and how much better they will be because of this recent stretch.

Friday night the Ryerson Rams women’s hockey team's season came to an end when they fell 1-0 to the Guelph Gryphons.

Ryerson was making their first appearance in the OUA semifinals after beating the Queen’s Gaels and were faced with the challenge of trying to knock off the top seeded Guelph Gryphons.

Battered, bruised, with her knee taped up and Rub A535 all over, Laura Ball spoke about how demanding the last five games have been for the Rams, “It’s been every shift going out there and giving everything you have, whether you got five or 25 shifts in a game it was about making them count and doing anything possible to help the girl next to you.”

One part of Ball’s game that many of her teammates joined her on was blocking shots, making her goalie's job a little easier.

“That’s always fun for a goalie to have some help, they did an amazing job all year blocking shots.” Vigeant said, and with a chuckle followed that up, “We had a lot of PK work this season and a big reason that our PK was so strong was because they were willing to block shots.”

The first period saw both teams get a number of chances but Vigeant and Guelph’s Valerie Lamenta were too good and the teams were even at zero after 20 minutes.

In game one, the Gryphons power play only had two chances to work but scored on both of those, in this game the Rams caught a break when they took their first penalty of the game but Guelph followed that up with one of their own nullifying the advantage.

But Ryerson made a mistake towards the end of the first and gave Guelph another power play, one that dragged into the second period.

Just 20 seconds into the frame the Gryphons converted on the advantage and got the game’s only goal.

Although Ryerson had a few grade-A opportunities in the middle frame they were unable to convert on anything and went into the third period down a goal.

A big moment in the third period came when the Rams were down two skaters, giving the explosive Gryphons power play a chance to grab the game by the throat.

Ryerson dug deep and killed off the advantage keeping the one goal game alive. Lisa Haley was happy with the Rams penalty kill in this one. “We wanted to make sure that we were killing more of the penalties in their end of the ice than ours and for the most part tonight we did that.”  

Ryerson’s power play had a number of opportunities in this game and although the goal never came it wasn’t without a number of quality chances. On several occasions the Gryphons blocked Ryerson’s shots, Lamenta made huge saves and the Rams had near misses.

The Rams power play mustered up most of their best chances but game two just wasn’t Ryerson’s night and their bounce never came.

This concludes the best year of the program's history, and with the Rams graduating only three players it appears as though this is only the beginning of something major for the women’s hockey program.

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