By Charles Vanegas
The Ryerson men’s hockey team (3-4) put on a dominating performance Thursday night, defeating the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks 5-2 in game that was physical from beginning to end. Rams goaltender Steve Gleeson was solid, stopping 35 of 37 shots.
“Tonight everyone came to play,” said head coach Graham Wise. “We had a pretty good effort so I can’t complain.”
With the win, the Rams ended a two game losing streak — which included a 6-3 loss to Nipissing in which they squandered a 3-1 lead.
“Everyone’s clicking right now,” said defenceman Brian Birkhoff, who led the charge with two goals and an assist. “We were in a bit of a slump. We got away from working hard. This game, we went back to the basics — [we] worked hard getting behind their D, and everyone played great.”
Tensions were high after Rams forward Greg Payne was given a five-minute penalty and game misconduct for a check to the head in the second period, and once the Rams extended the lead to three, the level of physicality escalated. Play was stopped for a few minutes as referees attempted to separate both teams, who were fighting in front of Ryerson’s bench.
“They’re a chippy, bottom-of-the-pack team, so that’s to be expected,” said Birkhoff. “We embarrassed them on our home ice… so that’s what’s going to happen.”
Wise downplayed the drama.
“Well, you know, one team’s losing and they get a little feisty. I don’t think there was anything to worry about.”
The Rams also had goals from Payne, and centres Kyle Blaney and Steve Taylor. They host the Western Mustangs on Saturday at the Mattamy Athletic Centre.
Photos by Mohamed Omar