Hockey squad cellar dwellers no more

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By Bob Coatsworth

By this time of year, the Ryerson hockey team has usually curled up and found a place somewhere near the basement of the OUA Mid West division.

But after a 4-1 win last Friday over the University of Toronto Varsity Blues, the Rams are battling the Brock Badgers for first place.

While the Rams’ schedule hasn’t exactly been fraught with peril—their two victories have been over winless teams—head coach Louie Carnevale has the Rams playing respectable hockey.

“We’re playing very well,” Carnevale said. “We’ve made some mistakes in the past that we haven’t made since.”

The Rams jumped to a quick lead Friday, taking a 1-0 lead on a goal by John DiBattista. The rival Blues, fuelled by a marching band that had parked itself in the crowd, rallied to tie the game before the end of the first period.

“We aren’t weak in any particular area, but we’re going to continue to work on all aspects of our game and on our concentration,” Carnevale said. “I think we’re getting better and better every game.”

Forwards Jason Kotack and Mo Alvarez scored second-period goals for Ryerson before the Rams turned to a defensive trap to preserve their second straight win. Ryan Love got credit for an empty-net goal that U of T scored on themselves.

“We got the job done, but I think we really didn’t take advantage of U of T,” said face-off specialist and Rams captain Kirby Tokarki. “They don’t really have that strong of a team this year, but I’m still happy to get the two points we needed.”

With a win this Friday at home against Brock, the Rams can even their record to 3-3 and move into first place in the division. Game time against Brock Friday is 7:45 p.m. at St. Michael’s Arena. The game is also being broadcast on cable 11 OnTV. Last Saturday’s home game against Guelph was cancelled due to a broken pipe at St. Mike’s Arena. The game will be rescheduled.

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