Ottawa, ON – Meet the new Ravens, same as the old Ravens?
That’s been the unfortunate question through the first four games of the final season in RSEQ for Carleton Ravens’s women’s hockey program.
Armed with the first true full recruiting class under head coach Stacey Colarossi, the Ravens entered the 2023-2024 campaign looking to both end their time in RSEQ on a high, and show there was something to look ahead to as they plan for their move to the OUA in 2024-2025.
After a 1-0 loss to the McGill Martlets on Saturday night, the Ravens’ third straight shutout loss in their first four games, perhaps the only thing the Ravens have truly shown so far is even with their new faces they still have a long way to go to get to where they want to be.
2022-2023 was a nightmare season for the McGill Martlets. After finishing on top of RSEQ in the regular season in 21/22, the Martlets lost an unfathomable 13 straight games to open the season and collapsed to the bottom of the conference with a 2-20-2-1 record. Entering Saturday night, despite a 2-0 loss to Ottawa in their home opener on the 26th, the Martlets held a 1-2-0 record through three games.
Still, after at the very least a much more urgent performance in a 3-0 loss to the Concordia Stingers on Friday night, the first back-to-back of the season for Carleton saw the Ravens enter the night slowly and stay there most of the way.
“I think it’s easy to get amped up for a team like Concordia,” Ravens coach Stacey Colarossi said.
“You never want to disrespect an opponent, and I don’t think they were disrespecting them by any means but getting them rallied to play two games in a row like we did last night, whether it’s youth, whether it’s heart, whether it’s effort, I’m not sure but not a good performance tonight.”
The only goal of the night came early in the second period as on a Carleton power-play, Taylor Garcia found a little bit of space shorthanded for the Martlets and sent it top corner above the glove of Carleton goalie Caitlin Whitehead.
Special teams as a whole were a challenge for Carleton on the night as it felt like multiple ill-timed penalties, including an Anya Misner body-checking penalty with 2:27 to play in the game, seemed to consistently kill any Ravens momentum.
“That penalty (Misner’s) killed us,” Colarossi said. “We were getting ready to pull the goalie at that time… trying to get our people and personnel, we had good momentum, but then all of a sudden, the sails come out when that happens.”
The Martlets, with the 1-0 were thus essentially able to play keep away for the final 2:30 as the Ravens got a single shot off before time expired, and Carleton fell to 0-4-0.
Four games in, with four losses on the books and four total goals scored leaves a lot more questions than answers for the Ravens as the calendar turns to November. For their coach though it honestly feels pretty simple,
“We can have all the best pre-scouts in the world and the best tactics planned but if they’re not going as a unit, we’re not a skilled team we have to go up and down the ice as a five-player unit.” Colarossi said.
“We can take the horse to water but they have to be the ones internally to take care of things.”