It was a disappointing weekend for the Mustangs women’s hockey team. After dropping a 2-1 decision to the Varsity Blues and a 3-1 loss to the Rams, the team was eliminated from playoff contention.
The final two games of the season were another example of the scoring woes that Western University dealt with throughout the final stretch of the season.
Kira Memet was the lone goal scorer on Friday night against the University of Toronto, adding the marker with just past the half-way mark of the game on the powerplay.
The Mustangs continued to battle through the final frame, but they were unable to add a tying goal to the score sheet.
After Friday night’s loss, head coach Candace Moxley expanded on the team’s scoring issues, which, of late, have felt more like bad bounces rather than a lack of opportunity to the coach.
“Man, if we keep playing this way, eventually we're gonna get those bounces,” said Moxley. “It's not for a lack of effort from our players, man.”
“It'd be nice to see them rewarded for all of their work.”
Those bounces never came around in the second game of the back-to-back, though.
Coming into Saturday night, the Mustangs knew that, since the Guelph Gryphons won in overtime, they would need to earn a full three points (a win in regulation) to advance to the first round of the playoffs.
The game started promisingly for the Mustangs, as forward Sydnee Baker slid a perfect backdoor pass for Sam Wood under five minutes into the game. Wood quickly redirected the pass into a wide open net and the Mustangs had a quick lead.
A little over ten minutes later, though, Rams forward Erika Crouse crashed the net and banged home Ryerson’s opening marker.
The second-year forward was dominant the entire game and added a second goal to her total midway through the second period, giving the Rams a 2-1 lead.
Two minutes later, Ryerson captain Kryshanda Green added an insurance marker — extending the Rams lead to 3-1.
The Mustangs outshot Ryerson 22-13 across the final two periods, but they were only able to beat Rams goaltender, Fanny Vigeant, once the entire game.
After the loss, Moxley explained that she hoped her team was at least proud of their effort in a game that she felt was constantly shifting momentum.
“You know what, I thought, the momentum was shifting all game — in terms of us having possession and generating some opportunities and then there was a time there where it just, it flipped on us,” said Moxley.
“Ryerson was able to capitalize and we battled, we left it all out there tonight. And I hope the girls are proud with the effort they put out tonight.”
Moxley and her coaching staff will have an entire off-season to plan for next season. The Mustangs carried a young roster throughout the year and could be poised for a breakout during the 2020-21 campaign.