Rams season ends with quarter-final loss to Lakers

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By Mikaila Guarasci

The Rams women’s hockey team lost 3-1 to the Nipissing Lakers on Saturday night, ending their season in the McCaw Cup quarterfinals.

The Lakers and Rams entered this game as the second and third seeds in the OUA East, respectively.

The first half was a two-way street with both teams trading chances. It was the visiting Rams who came first on the board with a power play goal. Rams forward Brooklyn Gemmill passed the puck past Lakers goaltender Chloe Marshall to give his team a 1-0 lead. Cailey Davis and Olivia Giardetti collected the assists on goal.

The lead didn’t last long, however, as Brianna Gaffney answered for the Lakers. Nipissing had a 3-on-1 chance and Gaffney got the puck over Rams goaltender Rachel Seeley’s shoulder and into the net.

The teams left the ice after 20 minutes locked at one and the Rams outshot the Lakers 13-11 in the frame.

In the second period, it was Gaffney who found the back of the net for his second of the night to give the Lakers the lead. The goal came on the power play just four minutes into the period with Maria Dominico and Katelyn Heppner on goal.

The Lakers added 13 shots to their total and Seeley stood between the posts to keep the Rams in the game. The visitors had seven shots in the period but couldn’t find the back of the net, heading into the final period with a 2-1 lead.

The third period remained 2-1 thanks to solid play by Seeley. She continued to make big saves for the Rams as they tried to tie things up. Nipissing didn’t give the Rams much time or space, which made a comeback effort difficult.

With 48 seconds left in the third period, the Rams headed for a decisive power play. They took a six-to-four advantage, firing Seeley for the extra forward just before the call. Although the Rams had several chances, they failed to tie the game.

Gaffney completed his hat trick, scoring on the empty net in the dying seconds of the game to secure a semifinal berth for the Lakers.

The final shots on goal saw the Lakers edge past the Rams 32-25.

This loss signifies the end of the Rams’ season and the quest for the 2022 McCaw Cup.

FOLLOWING: The Rams are entering the offseason and looking to bounce back in the fall.