By: Josh Beneteau
The men’s hockey team (14-5-0) capped a perfect opening week to 2014 with a 5-1 win over the Waterloo Warriors (8-8-2) Saturday. This is the Rams’ ninth win in their last 10 games and it set a new all-time school record for most wins in a season. The Rams are now one point ahead of Lakehead University for first in the OUA Western Conference.
“We wanted to come off on the right foot after the break and we are doing that so far,” defenseman and assistant-captain Brian Birkhoff said. “We have confidence in each other and we’re just running with it.”
Jamie Wise led the Rams with his second hat trick in five games. All of Wise’s goals were on a powerplay, which went three for nine in the game.
“I’m just trying to do the same every game, chipping in the odd goal here,” Wise said. “Right now we are rolling as a unit and we just have to keep rolling.”
Ryerson chased Waterloo’s starter Mike Morrison by scoring three goals in 10 shots in the first period. Wise opened the scoring 3:43 into the game by picking up a pass from Domenic Alberga in the slot and firing it in off the post.
Mark Corbett then put Ryerson up 2-0 when he skated all the way down the ice and fired a shot from almost the same location as Wise. Wise then capped the period off with a tip five-hole off of Kent McPherson’s shot.
3-0 at the start of the second period, Wise then scored his third goal of the game but Waterloo began to put pressure on the Rams — firing 18 shots in that period alone.
“[Troy] Passingham has played great for us,” head coach Graham Wise said. “He has really stabilized things back there.”
Passingham stood his ground in the Rams net, making 35 saves and only giving up one goal from Brett Mackie on the powerplay.
“[Passingham’s] been a really key part of our team this year,” Wise said. “He’s holding it together for us back there.”
Alberga made two assists during the game and completed the scoring with a shot from the left circle in the third period. After that it was a game of penalties with almost no five-on-five play in the last four minutes of the game.
“When the score gets to 5-1 there is going to be some liberties taken out there,” coach Wise said. “I don’t like it.”
The Rams were without two forwards who missed the game due to injuries. Mitch Gallant suffered a concussion from a high hit in the game against Windsor, while captain Andrew Buck sat with a leg injury.
The Rams’ next game is Wednesday on the road against Western University.