By James Mirtle
It wasn’t the frigid weather on the tips of tongues Saturday night, as the Ryerson Rams men’s hockey team faced their cross town rivals, the University of Toronto Varsity Blues.
Despite dropping a 4-1 decision, the red hot play of Rams goalie Braden Deanne had hockey fans buzzing.
“He’s been our number one star all year,” said sophomore winger Steve Farquharson. “He’s always ready for the game –sometimes the rest of us aren’t. It can’t be like that every time.”
Deanne held the first place Blues scoreless in what was a very lopsided game, including a first period where Ryerson was outshot 19-2.
U of T ended the scoreless draw seven minutes into the second period when Blues scorer Ian Malcolm picked up the puck off a rebound and stuffed it past the sprawled Rams net minder. In less than two minutes, the Blues put two more past Deanne on goals by Ben Barrett and left-winger Tyler Middlebrook.
Ryerson pulled to within two, when second-year forward Chris Pethick shot on a four on two odd-man rush. Pethick’s shot caught Blues’ backup goalkeeper Ryan Grinell napping as it beat him low on the far side.
With Rams captain James Byck in the penalty box for a flagrant crosscheck, Middlebrook scored.
The Blues got into penalty trouble later in the period, but Ryerson failed to convert on one of their seven powerplays. U of T outshot Ryerson 42-15.
“It wasn’t pretty, was it?” said Rams head coach Ed Kirsten.
“We have some guys who think their skill level is higher than it is. They think they can just pass the puck right into the net.”
The Rams hadn’t seen any game action since a loss against Windsor on Nov. 30, a fact Kirsten blamed for his team’s sluggish start.
This weekend the Rams take on Queen’s University at home.