No. 6 Gryphons spoil Rams home opener

No. 6 Gryphons spoil Rams home opener

TORONTO – The Ryerson Rams women's hockey team dropped a 3-1 decision in its home opener to the No. 6 nationally ranked Guelph Gryphons on Wednesday night at the Mattamy Athletic Centre.

The Rams fired 38 shots on net but could only get one past Gryphons goaltender Stephanie Nehring (Oshawa, Ont.), who made several key stops throughout the night, especially while her team was shorthanded.

"I think we generated a lot more chances than we have been lately," said Rams head coach Lisa Haley. "Obviously we want to bury a few more but 38 shots against one the top teams in the country, it's a step in the right direction for us."

Jessica Pinkerton (Oshawa, Ont.) opened the scoring for Guelph on the powerplay six minutes into the contest. The Rams would tie it before the end of the period as NCAA transfer Emma Rutherford (Kanata, Ont.) tallied her first in a Ryerson uniform with four minutes to go in the frame.

The Gryphons would regain the lead six minutes into the second period when Alana Sims skated into the slot and fired a low wrist shot past Rams goalie Alex Armstrong (goal was credited to Kelly Gribbons). Five minutes later, Kaitlyn Lowy (Toronto) put Guelph up by two, scoring on the powerplay at the 10:33.

The Rams started the third period on the powerplay and almost made it a one-goal game but Nehring was able to get a pad on a Kayla Karbonik (St. Andrews, Man.) deflection.  Midway through the period, Clare Sabine led a 3-on-1 chance for the Rams. Her shot was stopped and Melissa Wronzberg and Alex Rodriguez jammed away at the rebound but were unable to get it in the net.

Armstrong (Toronto) stopped 28 of 31 shots she faced in the loss, while Nehring saved 37 of 38 shots for the victory.

Ryerson's power play moved the puck efficiently and generated several quality chances but was unable to finish on six opportunities.  The Rams gave up two powerplay goals on six Guelph chances. The penalty kill is an area of concern for Haley.

"It's an area we want to tidy up," said Haley. " We've given up four powerplay goals against in the last two games so that is a concern for us. We fixed a few things in the third and were able to shut the door on our PK (penalty kill) which was great but it is going to be a priority for Friday's game."

Prior to the game, five-time Olympic medallist Haley Wickenheiser performed the ceremonial face-off. Wickenheiser received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Ryerson's Faculty of Engineering and Architectural Science and Faculty of Science earlier in the day.

The Rams will host the Brock Badgers on Friday, October 17 at the Mattamy Athletic Centre. Game time is 7:30pm.

Source: Ryerson Rams