OTTAWA - A slow start proved to be too much to overcome as the Carleton Ravens women’s hockey team fell 4-1 on the road Friday night against the uOttawa Gee-Gees.
The Gee-Gees quickly opened the scoring just five minutes into the first. Taylor Sims directed a loose puck toward the goal from the left circle and Kylie Lalonde tipped it from along the goalline fooling Ravens goaltender Frederick Lavoie-Leroux.
"We didn't come out of the gate the way we wanted to come out," acknowledged head coach Stacey Colarossi. "We played a little tentative, not executing our defensive zone structure, so it was not the way we wanted to start the game today."
Only a few minutes later Lavoie-Leroux would make the first save before the Gee-Gees would fill the crease, finding the loose puck behind the Ravens keeper for their second of the night. Down two, the Ravens would start to match the Gee-Gees while demonstrating a high level of grit which gave the Ottawa powerplay fits.
Despite their effort shorthanded, the Ravens would concede a third goal in the period when Gee-Gees forward Taylor Scott was left wide open in front ending the first with a 3-0 lead.
The Ravens opened the second with more pace and a stronger forecheck, but their early moment was stunted when Katherine Birkby walked out of the corner and roofed a backhand over the shoulder of Lavoie-Leroux.
The Ravens would settle in and start trading chances and zone time with the Gee-Gees as the game went on but trailed by 4 after 40 minutes.
"We just talked to them about being patient in the structure - being between a grey jersey and our net, always being stick ready - they were hot on their forecheck so our first touch had to be moved quickly," explained coach Colarossi.
"The puck had to be moved quickly, we didn't have time and space to take a few strides," recognized the Ravens new coach. The Ravens adjustments proved to make a difference in the pace of the game. "By getting our forwards more accountable, being low, in position and supporting. When we started doing that we started to get good exits, building zone time and blocking shots, celebrating those victories."
The Ravens and Gee-Gees played a back-and-forth throughout the third period exchanging chances before Cecilia Lopez scored their first as a Raven to put Carleton on the board.
Lopez entered the zone in on a clean transition with a teammate cutting to the net and took advantage of space from the Gee-Gees defender to move toward the middle of the ice overpowering the Ottawa goalie for the Ravens lone goal.
On the Penalty Kill...
"The five-on-five game is what it is, but special teams can definitely change momentum. If we have success on our PK it helps with our momentum on the five-on-five."
On the team's strong third...
"They really responded in the third to what I asked them to execute and they were rewarded for that. The energy on the bench was positive and they felt good for themselves."
The Ravens return home on Friday, October 28 as they host the Montreal Carabins at the Carleton Ice House. The puck drop is scheduled for 7:00 PM with tickets on sale now at GoRavens.ca/Tickets.