By Scott Carefoot
The way the Brock Badgers hockey team wield their sticks, they should be called the Brock Beavers.
Fortunately, rams aren’t afraid of either beavers or badgers, and the Ryerson Rams hockey team showed no fear in opening their season with a bruising 7-4 win over Brock last Friday night at St. Michael’s Arena.
In a hot-blooded match filled with vicious slashes and high-sticks (mostly Brock’s), the Rams used strong fore-checking to keep the puck in Brock’s end for most of the game.
However, exciting end-to-end play early on helped to mask the fact that both teams were sloppy defensively.
Rams coach Louie Carnevale said he lectured his team after the first period about the importance of sticking to their game plan and not allow Brock any free shots at the Ryerson net.
The players took his advice in the second period and pinned Brock in their own end. Ryerson finally broke through in last few minutes of the period with a pair of quick goals.
The game was fast-paced and physical, and the Rams did a good job of not letting Brock’s hacks and slashes get to them until the end.
With a few minutes left, Ryerson’s Jason Kotack was thrown out of the game for hitting a Brock player from behind. Then, with time running out, defenceman Bill Velliaris duked it out with a Badger.
Despite the rough one of the match, Rams forward Ran Love insisted there was no bad blood between the two teams.
“We’re probably going to be battling it out with them for a playoff spot this year, so we’ve got to play hard every game,” he said.
Ryerson fans were outnumbered by about five to one in the crowd, but in the last five minutes, Rams fans were making all the noise.
If this game is any indication of what’s to com, Ryerson hockey fans would be wise to come check this year’s team out.
The Rams hosts University of Quebec, Trois-Rivières (UQTR) on Friday and Concordia on Saturday. Both games are at &;45 at St. Michael’s Arena.