This article first appeared on RyersonRams.ca on Jan. 16, 2014.
Ryerson Rams at. Laurier Golden Hawks
January 17, 2014
Waterloo Recreation Complex, Sun Life Financial Arena, 7:30 p.m.
Ryerson: 5-12-0 Last Game: 2-0 L vs. Toronto. 2013-14 Standings: T 12th- OUA (10 Points)Laurier: 13-2-2 Last Game: 2-1 OTL at Guelph. 2013-14 Standings: 2nd – OUA (28 points)
The clock is ticking, and it’s not in the Ryerson Rams women’s hockey team’s favour with only seven games remaining in the 2013-14 regular season. Currently on a five game losing streak, Ryerson must win at least five of their last seven games if they hope to have a chance at making the postseason. Having yet to score in 2014, Ryerson will face a tough test in the No. 3 Laurier Golden Hawks on Friday night. The last time these two teams met was on Nov. 16, 2013 when Laurier narrowly avoided defeat, but came out on top, 3-2.
Laurier has also struggled out of the gate in 2014. Although scoring four goals through their first two games, they have suffered two straight shootout losses against Guelph and a shocking defeat against the Brock Badgers. Despite this, they are still one of the best teams in the country, as their number three ranking will show. If Laurier will be successful against Ryerson, they will need to take advantage of the struggling Rams special teams. Laurier’s powerplay ranks eighth in the CIS, operating at 18.3 per cent. They are also the country’s leader in goals with 61.
Players to Watch:
Ryerson: Cassie Sharp
Sharp (Nepean, Ont.) made her OUA debut last week against UOIT and Toronto and logged a ton of minutes on the point for interim head coach Pierre Alain. Sharp suffered a pre-season ankle injury which limited her from seeing any action until 2014. Already she has shown good positive poise on the ice, and speed on the rush and will be looking to find the scoresheet for the first time this weekend against Laurier and Waterloo.
Laurier: Tammy Freiburger
Freiburger has been having a great season offensively for Laurier, scoring 16 points (10G, 6A) in 17 games. Her start to 2014 has been even better. Against Brock, she had a three-point night (2G, 1A) and also scored against Guelph. The last time Laurier played Ryerson, Freiburger scored in the third period to secure the victory.
Between the Pipes:
Ryerson: Alex Armstrong
After not making a start in net for Ryerson since Nov. 10, 2013, Armstrong returned between the pipes against Toronto and was outstanding. Despite suffering a loss in the contest, she only allowed one goal and made 27 saves. She will look to keep that streak going against Laurier on Friday night.
Laurier: Amanda Smith
Riding a two-game losing streak, Laurier will once again turn to their number one goaltender, Amanda Smith. Smith has started in 12 games this season and has posted a 8-3 record and a .935 save percentage. Despite the shootout loss against Guelph, Smith made 18 saves and will look for success against Ryerson.