Falling in a shootout
Women’s hockey lost 4-3 to Ryerson and fall to 5-2-1
The Wilfrid Laurier University women’s hockey team was thoroughly outpaced by the Ryerson Rams on their way to a 4-3 shootout defeat Sunday night in Waterloo.
While the score was close, Ryerson’s speed advantage was clearly evident. According to coach Rick Osborne, this was key to his team’s downfall.
“It’s probably been a couple of years since we lost as many races and as many battles as we lost tonight,” he said.
“Everybody looks like they’ve over-trained, they look fatigued. And maybe we’ve got to give some credit to them, maybe they’re that fast.”
After an early goal by third year centre Robyn Degagne, the Hawk offence struggled to gain offensive traction. After a 14-shot first, they mustered only four shots in the second on their way to a total of 28.
“I think we were lucky to get a point tonight,” Osborne continued.
During the offensive outage, captain Laura Brooker upped her intensity, using her aggressive rushes to try to produce scoring opportunities. Despite this, Osborne thought her play and that of his other top scorers left much to be desired.
“It was truly a night where our best players were not our best players,” he said. “It’ll be between me and the leaders of the team to sort this out.”
Brooker said she felt much of the responsibility to kick-start a stagnant offence laid with her. But she also stressed the importance of the team leadership functioning as a unit.
“I feel like a lot of it is kind of on my shoulders, but it’s more getting the team all together,” said Brooker.
“It’s not just me out there, it’s other leaders on the team — my other [assistant captains], fourth-years and fifth-years. Everyone pulls their own weight.”
Down 2-1 late in the second period of play, Montana Merante scored from the bottom of the right circle to even it. Shortly thereafter, a scramble in front of the Ryerson goal led to a puck in the net, but not before the referees blew the whistle and called the play dead.
Osborne was not shy in criticizing the work of the referees, who made several controversial decisions.
“The referee just basically made a mistake. It was on him. He blew the whistle quick. I think the puck was in before he blew the whistle, but he said the intent to blow was there,” he said of the waved-off Golden Hawk tally.
“It would’ve been such a huge momentum changer.”
After a mid-third period goal gave Ryerson the lead, the team battled to control their emotions.
As penalties mounted and time grew scarce, several players were vocal in displaying their anger on the bench.
Osborne was frank in his assessment of the Golden Hawk composure issues.
“You don’t slam sticks, you don’t get frustrated, you work harder,” asserted the coach.
With the Laurier net empty, 30 seconds on the clock and the score still 3-2, a scrum in front allowed Brooker to force home the equalizer, sending the game to overtime.
However, a fruitless extra period led to a shootout, where goalie Amanda Smith was unable to stave off Ryerson’s snipers and was handed the defeat.