By Daniel Morand
The Ryerson men’s hockey team (15-9-0) fell short of an epic 5-2 comeback against the Brock University Badgers (12-9-3) at the Mattamy Athletic Centre (MAC) Thursday night.
The Rams were in striking distance after two quick goals by Dominic Alberga and Michael Fine in the latter half of the final frame.
Alberga netted the tying goal, but the most unexpected performance came from third-string Brock goaltender Real Cormier. His stretch across the crease — to make a paddle save — secured their 5-4 win over Ryerson.
He made 35 saves and won his second game in as many starts.
Minutes into the game, Ryerson’s goaltender, Troy Passingham, was knocked down by one of Brock’s forwards — causing the net to fly off its moorings. Brock then followed with two quick goals.
“I don’t even know where we were in the first period,” Rams’ head coach Graham Wise said. “We put ourselves in a hole right from the get-go.”
A sloppy first period by the Rams spilled into the second. Brock’s leading scorer Matt Abercrombie scored his 15th goal of the season on the power play — making the score 3-0.
But Mitch Gallant’s power play goal brought the Rams — and the crowd — back into the game.
For Student Night at the MAC, 2,085 fans filled the stands in a strong display of school spirit.
“(The two early goals) took the crowd out of it for a little bit, but they clawed their way back in it so hats off to them,” Brock’s assistant coach Luc Lobsinger said.
Brock and Ryerson traded goals in the latter half of the second period and Rams’ forward Jamie Wise scored his 20th goal in 22 games this season.
“We work as a unit. It’s not just one guy, it’s the whole team,” Wise said. “If we’re not doing that, we’re not successful.”
Andrew Radjenovic opened scoring in the third period to push Brock ahead of the Rams 5-2. But a late third period push — which resulted in two goals by the Rams — was still not enough for Ryerson to make a comeback.
The Rams have four remaining games in the regular season — all at the MAC. The remaining regular season games will decide the Rams’ playoff position. A mere five points separates the top five teams in the OUA West.
Ryerson has an opportunity to break its two game skid at the 2:30 p.m. game Saturday against the York University Lions.