By Steve Petrick
Once again, the Ram’s hockey season will be ending early.
Ryerson was mathematically eliminated from the playoffs after a pair of weekend losses, 4-1 to the Western Mustangs and 9-4 to the Windsor Lancers.
With a record of 6-18, they will not be able to catch the third-place Laurentian Voyageurs for the final playoff spot in the OUA Mid-West Division.
The Rams played well against the Mustangs for the first two periods on Friday, opening the scoring less than four minutes into the second period.
Marcin Snita walked around a Western defensemen and slid the puck into the slot to a waiting Kirby Tokarski who went upstairs past the sprawling goaltender.
Halfway through the second period, the Rams surrendered a short-handed goal. A Western forward stole the puck at centre, walked through the defence and slipped the puck between the legs of Ryerson goalie Carm Giurleo to tie the game 1-1.
Western, fighting for final playoff position in the Far-West division, dominated the third period, scoring three goals.
The winning goal came just after a minute into the third when Western forward Rob Frost was left uncovered and one-timed a pass from behind the Ryerson net, past Giurleo. The Mustangs added two others by outmuscling the Rams’ defence in front of the net.
“We ran out of gas,” Carnevale said. “When you run out of gas you start making mental mistakes. We had a game plan. It worked the first two periods. Unfortunately, when you don’t have the legs, there’s not much you can do.”
Saturday was the last call for Maple Leaf Gardens and was also the last call for the Rams, meaning it was their last chance to make a stab at the playoffs.
But the scoreboard watching wasn’t necessary after the Windsor Lancers pounced on the Rams, taking a 6-1 lead after two periods.
With three minutes to go in the game and down by three, Carnevale was desperate to stir something up. He pulled the goalie in favour of an extra attacker. However, the plan backfired as Windsor added a couple more, providing the final 9-4 final.
The Rams close out their home schedule Friday against York, 7:45 p.m. at St. Michael’s Arena.