Ryerson's Nadine Paul fights for a loose puck with York's Erin Cameron on Saturday.

Rams showing potential in sophomore season

Ryerson's women's hockey team already improving in it's second full season in the OUA

 

Ryerson’s assistant coach Michelle Janus talks about the improvements in the Rams women’s hockey program that is now in its sophmore season.Like many expansion teams, the Ryerson’s women’s hockey team had a dismal inaugural season winning one solitary game.

 

Like many expansion teams, the Ryerson women’s hockey team had a dismal inaugural season, winning just a solitary game.

However, just eight contests into their sophomore campaign the Rams are already showing signs of a dramatic improvement.

After averaging just shy of five goals against per game last season, that number has been cut to 3.86 in the early portion of this year.

On top of that; goal scoring is up, they’ve been competitive in every outing except two (against juggernauts Laurier and Queens), and the team has already surpassed last season’s win total.

“We’re quite impressed with the progress they’ve made as a team in the last two years. And certainly our goaltending has stepped up as well,” said assistant coach Michelle Janus. “A lot of big improvements over the last two years.”

A part of their success and development this year stems directly from the leaders in the Ryerson dressing room, according to Janus, who is filling in for head coach Lisa Haley who’s an assistant for Canada’s women’s national team playing in the Four Nations Cup in Finland.

“Our leadership is our strong hold of the team and we look to them to be the glue, especially with a young team like this.”

A part of that glue is captain, and fourth-year player Janella Brodett.

The Edmonton, Alta. native is a former ACHA all-star and national champion with the Lindenwood Lions. And it’s her experience and leadership that is more valuable to this young squad than goals, and assists.

A part of that is because the Rams are building for future success, as the team has stockpiled its roster with first and second-year players.

Of the 23 athletes on the roster, 18 are either a freshman or a sophmore.

As a result, harnessing the squad’s potential talent partially falls on the shoulders of veterans like Brodett.

Because of this however, both players and coaching staff alike know that they must tamper their expectations for a team just entering the league.

“I expect it (this season) to be a bit of a rollercoaster. We’re going to have good games, and we’re going to have bad games and that’s just the characteristics of a young team.

“They’re still young, a little immature as far as playing sense goes … but if they can look past some of the bad moments then they’re going look to improve again next season,” said Janus.

That’s because the Rams are investing heavily in potential.

Among them are rookies Emily Popelar and Brianna Tremblay according to the assistant coach.

Tremblay already leads the team in GAA and save percentage while Popelar is still searching for her first goal on the season; but it’s about potential.

And both of these freshmen have lots of it.

While they are expecting their share of losses; “the good games are going to be really good” according to Janus.

And although improvements are already noticeable this season, it’s the long-term investments that the Rams are hoping will really pay off.

 

Ryerson’s assistant coach Michelle Janus talks about the improvements in the Rams women’s hockey program that is now in its sophmore season.