By Dave Smith
New hockey coach Ed Kirsten didn’t get an opening weekend worth remembering.
He’d probably rather forget about his team’s 6-3 loss to the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks in its OUA league opener Friday and a 6-5 loss to the Waterloo Warriors the night after.
On Friday, the Rams surrendered more than 50 shots in a 6-3 loss to the Hawks at St. Michael’s Arena. The next night they conceded two third-period goals nine seconds apart to lose a 6-5 battle with the Warriors.
“We gave the game away at the end with a number of mental lapses,” Kirsten said referring to Saturday’s game. “It’s too bad. I thought we deserved better.
The two quick goals came after the Rams mounted a four-goal comeback in the second period, which gave them a 5-4 lead heading into the dressing room.
But midway through the final frame, the Ram started having trouble clearing the puck out of their own end, and with 9 minutes 28 seconds left in the game, a Warriors right winger was left wide open in front of the Rams’ net. After receiving a pass, he had plenty of time toe beat Ryerson goalie Steve Bewley to tie the game.
Almost immediately after the ensuing face-off, a Ryerson player coughed up the puck, allowing Waterloo to pick up a two-on-one break. Defenseman Rob Maric slid the puck past Bewley for the eventual game-winner.
“We lost on two shitty turnovers,” said Ryan Love, a right winger in his third year with the team.
Love, whose one goal and two assists made him Ryerson’s star of the game, was noticeably dejected after the loss.
“It is tough to prepare for the larger ice surfaces when the team practice sin such a small rink,” he said, referring to the Rams’ base at Moss Park Arena.
The Rams were even more upset after Friday’s loss to Laurier though.
“[Saturday’s game] was much better than [Friday] night,” Kirsten said.
Had it not been for Bewley the Rams wouldn’t have been in the game. According to Ryerson’s statisticians, the third-year business student made 57 saves.
Things don’t get any easier for the Rams this weekend. Saturday the team travels to London to take on the defending OUA champion Western Mustangs, before heading to the University of Windsor Sunday.