The Rams women’s hockey team defeated the York Lions 4-2 at the team’s home opener at the Mattamy Athletic Centre Saturday night.
The Rams have beat the Lions twice in a row, handing York a 4-1 loss Friday night.
Fans in the stands came ready to cheer on the team for the first time since the pandemic upended the previous season.
Buzzing off of their win on Friday, the Rams’ energy was high.
“It’s our home opener and we got a lot of people out and it’s exciting for the girls,” said lead assistant coach Haley Irwin. “We talked about controlling our emotions before the game, and I think we used our energy well.”
The team started off strong in the first period, having possession of the puck most of the time, leading to two early goals from the Rams.
Only a minute and a half into the game, fourth-year forward Brooklyn Gemmill scored the first goal, her second of the season.
“Our coach told us before the game to come out with energy and that’s exactly what I tried to do,” said Gemmill on scoring the first goal of the season on home ice.
Second-year defender Abby DeCorby swooped in and scored the Rams’ second goal in the top left of the net just before the 10 minute mark of the first period. It was her first goal of the season.
Just when the Rams thought they were in the clear to end the first period with a substantial 2-0 lead, fourth-year Lions forward Courtney Gardiner scored the team’s first goal of the game, cutting the lead to 2-1.
Near the end of the first period, the Rams hit the crossbar on a power-play attempt.
The second period started off slower than the first but the Rams were set on keeping their lead alive.
Without missing a beat, Rams’ fifth-year forward Lauren Nicholson scored not one but two goals during the second period, bringing the score to 4-1. Nicholson has three goals this season.
With the second period nearing an end, the Rams played hounding defence while the Lions had possession of the puck.
By the third period, the crowd got wild, cheering on their team to finish strong. The Rams did not score, but the Lions got their second goal of the night, with seven minutes left.
With the team not playing again for almost two weeks, Irwin stressed the need to keep the winning momentum going.
“We got to look at the things in the areas that we can get better at and make sure we’re doing those things in practice, making sure our compete levels [are] staying high and making sure our girls stay focused,” Irwin said. “We’ll take the weekend off next weekend but we won’t take our foot off the gas.”
The Rams will play the University of Toronto Varsity Blues on Nov. 19 at the Mattamy Athletic Centre.