“Mediocrity will never do, you are always capable of something better”
That’s a quote from Gordon B Hinckley, former president of the Church of Jesus Christ. He may have been a religious leader, but his saying rings true in sports as well and was nowhere more relevant than in Sunday’s matinee game between the Ryerson Rams and Waterloo Warriors.
The Warriors came into their first game after the winter break sitting a little higher than the Rams, in fourth place, while Ryerson found themselves in the seventh position. Needless to say, both teams have had mediocre starts to the season and were hoping to get off on the right foot in the new decade.
As the puck dropped in front of nearly zero fans at the Mattamy Athletic Centre, it was clear that these teams had not seen game action for a little while. There were players running into each other, passes going astray and clear chances missed, not something that is usually prevalent when teams have gotten themselves in a rhythm.
However, despite all of the miscommunication and sloppiness, the visitors did find themselves a goal in the first period. Waterloo forward Taytum Clairmont fired a shot from the centre of the offensive zone which flew over the shoulder of Ryerson netminder Rachel Seely.
As a result of the sloppiness, each team saw a player go down injured, both in the second period as well. Keelin Farren went down for Ryerson whilst Carley Olivier went down for the Warriors. Both players were fine following their injuries, but it was an indication of the theme of miscommunication which summed up the afternoon.
After allowing the opening goal in the first 20 minutes, Ryerson found a goal of their own in the second period, thanks to a wonderful shot from captain Kryshanda Green. The captain showcased her elite speed in her goal; she picked up the neutral zone, burst past the blue line and zinged the puck over the reaching glove hand of Mikayla Schnarr. The goal was something that did not follow the trend of the game, as it was a piece of beautiful hockey, not something common throughout the matinee.
“I just try to fight, it’s always a tough game against Waterloo and once I got the puck I knew I had to go fast,” Said green when reflecting on her goal.
The third period did not follow the trend, however. Following Green’s goal, the level and pace of play improved substantially. The game was fast, the passes on point and special teams were organized; almost as though it was a completely different game compared to the kerfuffle of the first forty minutes.
That high level was nowhere more evident than in Ryerson’s second and third goals. One a beautiful cross-crease pass, the other a shot which pinged both the post and crossbar-something that has long been heralded among hockey communities.
With the win, Ryerson moves closer to the Warriors in the standings and takes a massive stride towards their postseason aspirations. The Rams will now have the week off until they host the Brock Badgers on home ice Thursday night.