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Rams gearing up for season

Ryerson’s hockey team looks to improve after pre-season tournament

By Aaron Sand

The Ryerson Rams were feasted upon by opponents last Thanksgiving weekend at the annual Ryerson pre-season tournament. 

The Rams were defeated 5-2 in the consolation final against the U of T Varsity Blues on Saturday, and lost 3-1 to the Queen’s Golden Gaels Friday night.

In both games, the Rams failed to capitalize on several offensive chances and were caught scrambling in their own zone, an indication of the team’s struggle to adjust to the influx of rookies on this year’s squad. 

Coach Louie Carnavale said he isn’t bothered by the Rams’ performance in the tournament. 

“These losses won’t affect us at all,” Carnavale said. “We’ve got a lot of young faces and I think they’re getting a taste of what it takes to win at this level and of how good the competition is.

“We’ve got some games under our belt and we’ll need more practice time to work on some new areas,” he said. “We’ve only had a couple of power-play goals in the last few games and that’s just because we haven’t had time to work on it.”

The Varsity Blues, who shelled Rams goalie John McGowan with 43 shots, came out fast and strong, scoring five goals in the first 21 minutes of the game to take a commanding 5-1 lead, crushing the Rams’ hopes early.

Rams rookie forward Chris Baxter was critical of his team’s performance.

“To turn things around everybody’s got to show up to play,” Baxter said. “Some guys are showing up and some aren’t. Everybody’s got to give 100 percent because if we don’t we’re not going anywhere.”

President Claude Lajeunesse admitted cheering against the Rams.

“The first cheering I do is for my son Francois who plays for McGill, but then, of course, I cheer for Ryerson,” Lajeunesse said.

Lajeunesse had plenty to cheer about as his son’s team, McGill obliterated Queen’s 8-2 in the championship match. McGill’s offensive talent and superior speed was unmatched in the tournament.

The weekend tourney left the Rams winless in the pre-season, with a record of 0-3-1. Ryerson is on the road Wednesday against Brock and will play in a tournament at Queen’s this weekend. The team opens the regular season Thursday against Waterloo at St. Mike’s arena.  

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