After their deepest playoff run in the program’s history last season, the Rams women’s hockey team has massive expectations this time around. Their rookie players are now a year wiser and they will be looking to make a splash in the 2019-2020 season.
Currently, the team is 1-2, including a tight loss to their cross-town rivals, the UofT Varsity Blues. The team has struggled out of the gate as their offence has not been able to click, especially on the powerplay. If the team wants to go back to their winning ways, they’re going to need these three players key players to step up:
3. Abby Decorby (Defence)
Abby Decorby is a rookie on the Rams team but she was brought in to be a key player for the Rams. At six feet tall, she brings size and a hard shot to Ryerson’s blue line along with her playmaking ability. She is also the only right-shot defenceman on the team, which head coach Lisa Hayley desperately needs.
“Abby [DeCorby] is a right-shot defender, which we really needed as six of our returning defenders are lefties.” Head coach Hayley
She is good on both ends of the ice and she will be counted on a lot this season both defensively and offensively.
2. Erika Crouse (Forward)
Crouse was named OUA rookie of the year for her incredible first season with the Rams. She had 11 goals and 22 assists in 23 regular season games, including a five-assist game. Additionally, she is one of just six OUA players to have multiple empty-net goals.
While it seems easy to score an empty-net goal, what it really shows is that she is trusted in the most critical situations in a game. Head coach Hayley is comfortable putting Crouse on the ice when the team is defending a close lead and not only that, she’s a threat to put the game away.
Crouse has a season under her belt and will be counted on to be one of the leaders in Ryerson’s offence both at even-strength and on the powerplay. If she can build off last season’s success, the Rams will be a very dangerous team to play against.
1. Fanny Vigneat (Goalie)
This is Vigneat’s fourth season between the pipes for the Rams but only her second season as a starter. She got the opportunity last season when Ryeron’s starter, Rachel Seeley went down with an injury. Vigneat had an 8-5 record in the regular season and had an incredible .925 save percentage in the playoffs (4th best in the OUA).
This season she has continued to play very well, she just doesn’t have enough offence to support her to a victory. In all three games she has never let in more than two goals and looks better every game.
The game against the Varsity Blues yesterday was the best she’s played so far, stopping 26 of 27 shots thrown her way. She was able to track pucks down when there was a crowd in front of her and the only puck that went through was because of a screen in front. If she can remain dominant in the crease, it will make Ryerson’s life much easier.
The Rams have the goaltending, they just need the offensive support to put them over the top and make them one of the top teams in the OUA.