By Harlan Nemers
If the men’s hockey team was amped for their home opener, their play certainly didn’t show it.
The Rams were greatly outplayed during the first two periods during Friday night’s home opener at George Bell Arena as they lost 7-4 against the Concordia Sting.
While the Rams (1-1-0) rallied in the final frame to cut the lead to three goals, the deficit was simply too large to overcome by then.
“Give Concordia full credit,” head coach Graham Wise said after the game. “We didn’t do a good job winning the little battles and they made us pay.”
First-year forward Dominic Martel scored a hat-trick for the Sting (1-0-0) and finished the game with four points.
“I think we played a good first game,” said Martel. “We cycled down low, got pucks on the net, and used our speed.”
Rams fourth-year winger Cory Konecny chipped in with a power play goal and a pair of assists. Ryerson was two-for-11 on the power play.
“I didn’t think we played that well today,” said Rams rookie defenceman Frank Carbonaro, who narrowed the lead to 3-2 before the Sting scored four consecutive goals to put a stranglehold on the game. “We were all on a different page. I think we have to come with a little more intensity next game.”
However, assistant coach Jason Skilnick was optimistic about the team’s future.
“We didn’t win the one-on one battles but we got some young guys who had are still learning the ropes,” he said, speaking of the 12 rookies on the 25-man roster. “They had a big game in Nippising, and we’ll bounce back.”
The Rams took 36 minutes’ worth of penalties, including two 10-minute misconducts on skirmishes after the whistle. They lead the league with 77 PIM on the season.
Centreman Travis Dunstall added two assists while Matt Schmermund tallied a goal and an assist for the Rams, who are tied for the lead with Nipissing in goals scored with nine.
Rams goaltender Paul Gibson gave up seven goals on 12 shots before getting the hook in the second intermission in favour of backup Louie George. Sting netminder Joyal Maxime stopped 23 of 27 shots for the Sting.
The Rams will look to win their second game when they host the Carleton Ravens (1-0-0) Saturday afternoon at George Bell Arena.