This article first appeared at RyersonRams.ca on September 9, 2012.
by: Ryan McKenna
TORONTO – A late goal in the third period proved to be the difference as the Ryerson Rams women’s hockey team fell to rival University of Toronto Varsity Blues, 2-1 in their first ever game on Mattamy Home Ice. The game wrapped up the grand opening festivities at the Mattamy Athletic Centre at the Gardens.
With 3:16 remaining in the third period, Toronto’s Jacqueline Scheffel took the puck behind the net and wrapped it around to squeak it by Rams rookie goaltender Brianna Tremblay. Despite a late charge by the Rams, including a scramble in front with 30 seconds to play, the Rams couldn’t find the back of the net.
A power play goal by Ragan Danford put Toronto on the board to start off the first period. Toronto held a 1-0 lead going into the dressing room at the end of the first period.
History was made for the home side at the 9:54 mark of the second period. Rookie Samantha Pui had the puck trickle onto her stick in front of the net and she shoveled it past the blocker of Toronto goalie Nicole Kesteris. Pui’s goal was the first ever Rams women’s hockey goal to be scored at the Mattamy Athletic Centre at the Gardens. Pui’s excitement after scoring the goal was obvious post-game, “I feel amazing right now, it’s an unbelievable feeling, I don’t have words to describe it,” said Pui.
The second period ended tied at one.
In the third period, both teams exchanged chances, before a power play opportunity that saw the Rams get three of their 40 shots on goal.
“That’s just a good demonstration of where we’ve come in a year,” said head coach Lisa Jordan. “Now that we had some rookies that have some experience and that are in their second and third years now, they’re grabbing the ball and running with it and it’s great to see as a coach and I’m excited about that,” said Jordan. “The future looks bright now and we’re definitely ahead of where we were 12 months ago.”
Finding a way to consistently win games will be a focus for the Rams this season, and Jordan feels as though it will come with shots on net. “I think we need to find ways to better finish around the net. We’re creating chances, now we have to figure out a way to score,” said Jordan.
The experience to play on Mattamy Home Ice was the highlight for most players this evening. Starting goaltender Emma Crawley had some nerves to start the game, but said the experience was amazing, “It was an honour to be the first goalie to stand between the paint when the puck was dropped, and the crowd support for our home opener was great to see,” said Crawley, a native of Herring Cove, N.S.
Jordan echoed her players comments, “It felt incredible, I think we’re all still in a fog that it’s actually happening. I think it’s surreal to think about all the history that has already happened in this building and that we get a chance to be a part of it everyday. It’s something that I will always take for granted and appreciate tremendously what Ryerson has done here.”