Hockey team blacks out under TV lights

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By George Nassios

It’s a shame all of Ontario had to find out how poor Ryerson’s hockey team is this year.

Viewers who tuned into ONtv’s OUA game of the week saw the Rams embarrassed by the Brock University Badgers 10-3 Saturday, Jan. 6 at St. Michael’s Arena and now the team’s playoff picture is fading.

The Rams are now 2-11-0 and last in the four-team OUA Midwest Division, putting them eight points behind the Badgers, who hold the final playoff spot in the division.

The game was no different than most of Ryerson’s this year. The Rams lost by a lopsided score and were badly outshot.

Rams goalie Steve Bewley was spectacular in the first period, stopping 16 of 18 shots. A power-play goal by team captain Kirby Tokarski and an evenstrength goal by Jason Kotack had the Rams tied with Brock at 2-2 after one period.

But after that the Rams went on black out.

“Ryerson always comes out hard against us,” Brock head coach Murray Nystrom said. “But we know a game is not won or lost in 20 minutes and I believe our team played hard for 60 minutes and that’s why we won.”

The Badgers connected three times in the second period to take a 5-2 lead into the second intermission.

Throughout the second frame the Rams had no offensive pressure. Even their power play, which looked good in the first period, began to sputter and they gave up a short-handed goal to Brock’s Kent Nobes late in the period.

Then, early in the third, the Badgers scored two goals less than a minute apart, sending the game out of Ryerson’s reach.

“The guys totally got away from the game plan,” Rams assistant coach Jim Peffers said. “We didn’t get the puck in deep, and we looked very confused on the power play. We’ve got a lot of work to do between now and Friday’s game against U of T.”

One positive the Rams can take from this game was Bewley’s play. It’s not often a goalie gets praised after allowing 10 goals in a game, but Bewley made several sprawling saves in the first period to keep the score respectable, earning him admiration from coaches on both sides.

The third-year business student was coming off a six-week layoff because of an injured knee.

Although the Badgers peppered him with 47 shots on his return, Bewley refused to criticize his teammates for a lack of defensive support, saying he just tries to focus on his own game.

But the Rams didn’t help him by taking 48 minutes in penalties.

Twenty of those minutes were split between centre David Donaldson and left winger David Anthony, who both received 10-minute misconducts late in the third period, sending them to the dressing room early.

Donaldson’s was for roughing, while Anthony’s was for hitting from behind.

The ejections came in a game where the Rams already had a short bench. Fourth-year defenceman Michael Haaksma and third-year left-winger Justin Cook were serving the second game of three-game suspensions for violent play during a Nov. 25 game at the University of Ottawa.

Ryerson compiled 112 minutes worth of penalties and had six players ejected in the game, won by Ottawa 7-0.

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