By Scott Carefoot
Every journey begins with a single step, and the Rams hockey team took a giant leap towards a possible playoff spot with a 4-3 upset win over the Guelph Gryphons.
In coming from behind to beat the Gryphons last Saturday at St. Mike’s arena, Ryerson reversed a trend over the past three games where they blew leads in the third period.
The third period was perhaps their strongest of the year.
Ryerson trailed 3-1 until late in the second period when rookie forward David Anthony scored with 56 seconds remaining.
The Rams carried that momentum into the third, when David Sa tied the score as the 9:19 mark. Less than a minute later, Marcin Snita ripped a slap shot from the blue line for what would become the game-winning goal.
Snita led the scoring with two goals and an assist. He thought that not having the lead going into the third period helped keep the pressure off the team.
“We knew we have to come back,” Snita said. “Everyone was loose in the dressing room. We knew we could do it and we just came back.”
The Rams’ defence was particularly impressive this game, minimizing the effects of Guelph’s blazing quickness by keeping their speedy forwards to the sides of the net.
Goaltender Carm Giurleo was the backbone for the comeback, stopping 33 of 36 Guelph shots.
Guelph coach Marlin Muylaert credited Giurleo for the Rams’ upset.
“We ran into a hot goalie tonight,” he said, adding that he didn’t think Ryerson played very well.
Guelph outshot Ryerson 36-15. Rams coach Louie Carnevale said the attitude of his team compensated for their overall lack of talent.
“This shows how much character this team has,” said Carnevale. “We came off of three real tough games where we blew leads, and then we came back from 3-1 against a solid team.”
Less than halfway into the season, they have already matched their three game win total from last year.
Carnevale felt this victory — against one of Ontario’s top teams — vindicated their defensive strategy.
“We have a system that is geared towards teams that are fast and aggressive like this one. It goes to show that our system can work,” he said.
The Rams have two games left before the holidays: Friday at home against Waterloo and Saturday at Laurier.