By Natalie Russell
Up against the defending OUA men’s hockey champions, the Lakehead Wolverines, the Rams came up short in goals, players and penalties.
The team lost, with a final score of 8-3, but head coach Graham Wise will settle for the effort.
“They work hard right ‘til the bitter end. I can live with people making mistakes if they’re working hard,” he said.
Ryerson started the game off well, responding to Lakehead’s first goal by getting one themselves. Kevin Day found the back of the net for the Rams.
But between penalties and Lakehead’s dominating captain, the game got away from Ryerson and Lakehead took over. Their momentum after goals brought them through the game, Wise said.
The first period ended 3-1, but the Rams recouped and fought hard in the second. Shorthanded, Sergei Frenkel managed to find the net and notched his fourth goal of the season.
On a Ryerson power play, Kevin Krasnowski showed great determination to break through the Lakehead defence and get the puck to the net. Trailing the play was Mike Kavanagh, who went hard to the net tapping in the loose puck to make the score 3-2.
Unfortunately for the Rams, their come-back hopes were crushed when just over a minute later, the Wolverines captain netted his second of the game to put them up by two.
The second period ended with a score of 7-3, as fatigue set in on the heavily penalized Rams. Frenkel and Chris Sutton did their best to kill penalties, but with five players less than Lakehead, the Rams just couldn’t catch up.
“You’re asking the troops to keep charging up the row, and I give them a lot of credit for sticking with it and playing hard,” Wise said.
But ultimately, playing hard just wasn’t enough.The Rams were shorthanded 10 times during the game, leaving their first-year goaltender, Arawn Garbutt, under a lot of pressure. In total, Ryerson was out shot 48-25.
The Rams were up against the Wolverines again on Saturday in the second portion of their back-to-back games. Kavanagh kept Ryerson in the game during the first period, scoring their only goal. But the Rams broke down in the second period, letting Lakehead score three more times making the final score of the period 5-3. Each team had five penalties in the second period alone.
Ryerson came back strong in the third, Kavanagh and Day added two points to the scoreboard. Though they still had four penalties, Ryerson tripled their shots on net to 14.
But the Ram’s tough effort and persistence wasn’t enough to beat the Wolverines. Lakehead beat Ryerson 8-3, two nights in a row. “It’s a matter of not having enough bodies. We just ran out of gas,” Kavanagh said.
The Rams face off against Waterloo next on Nov. 18.