This article first appeared on RyersonRams.ca on Jan. 9, 2014.
TORONTO – A slow start was the difference on Thursday night at the Mattamy Athletic Centre at the Gardens as the Ryerson Rams fell to the UOIT Ridgebacks, 4-0.
The Ridgebacks (9-7-1) came out firing on Rams starter Emma Crawley (Herring Cove, NS), who faced 12 shots in the first period of play. Down a man not five minutes into the game, UOIT took advantage of an unlikely opportunity, with Jaclyn Gibson catching the Ryerson defence off guard and scoring her eighth goal of the season shorthanded.
Five minutes later it was Gillian Morgan scoring her second of the season and before the end of the period, Zoe Battie scored on the powerplay to make it 3-0 after one period.
Interim head coach for Ryerson, Pierre Alain, attributes the three goal first period as the difference in the game.
“It seems like we played good in the second and third but we struggled with the first period, that’s exactly what happened tonight,” said Alain.
A much more determined Ryerson (5-11-0) squad came out for the second period, firing 11 shots on Ridgebacks starter Tori Campbell. The best opportunity for Ryerson to get back in the game was mid-way through the period when rookie Clare Sabine (Sweaburg, Ont.) was hauled down on a breakaway and was awarded a penalty shot. Unfortunately for Sabine, Campbell stood tall in net.
With 6.8 seconds remaining before the second intermission, a turnover led to a breakaway goal by Mikaeli Cavell on Alex Armstrong(Toronto) who came in at the start of the second to relieve Crawley.
Campbell recorded her second shutout of the season, making 26 saves for the win. Crawley suffered the loss by allowing three goals on 12 shots. Armstrong made nine saves in relief.
Ryerson is back on the ice Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. when they face downtown rivals, the Toronto Varsity Blues. The Varsity Blues recently found themselves at No. 10 in the CIS Top 10 rankings and the last time these two teams met was the season opener on Oct. 3, 2013 when Toronto beat Ryerson, 5-0.
Alain says that things will be different this time around.
“We’re not the same team. We’re looking forward to that game, we’ll be ready.”
– Cassie Sharp (Nepean, Ont.) made her OUA debut on Thursday night after suffering an ankle injury in the pre-season. Sharp tallied two penalty minutes but received lots of playing time.
– Assistant captain Melissa Wronzberg (Thornhill, Ont.) was held pointless, breaking her two-game scoring streak. Alain said post-game that if the Rams will be successful, Wronzberg will need to make it happen on the ice. “She’s our offensive leader and we needed her to be out there and we need her to produce and that’s why she was double shifted tonight.”
– Ryerson gained no ground in the hunt for a playoff position. They still sit in 11th place with 10 points, five points out of a playoff spot.