By Michael Musalem
It didn’t take long for Ryerson’s men’s hockey team to bring the home fans to their feet this season, as they put the puck in the net early and often en route to a 10-3 victory over the Laurentian Voyageurs on opening night at the Mattamy Athletic Centre (MAC).
It was the first time Ryerson scored double-digit goals in a regular season game since Nov. 2, 1988 when they beat RMC 13-3.
After exchanging chances throughout the first, Ryerson took the lead on a Stephen Midensky power play goal, as he stepped out of the penalty box just in time to receive to a Kyle Blaney stretch-pass, walk in, and put the Rams ahead.
This seemed to energize the large crowd on hand Thursday night and opened the floodgates for the Ryerson offence.
Blaney would go on to register a hat trick on the evening, as would fourth-year winger Mitch Gallant, who talked about the chemistry that is quickly forming between the players.
“This is our fourth game together,” he said. “We’re kind of figuring each other out and tonight we were seeing each other a little bit better on the ice.”
Maybe the most decisive portion of the game came early in the second period. Ryerson registered four goals in a six-minute span, the third of which can be largely credited to rookie defenseman Alex Basso’s persistent work in the offensive zone.
Basso was star all night, finishing the night with four assists. The dynamic blue-liner had nothing but praise for his coach post-game.
“He trusts me a little bit,” said Basso. “We’re still getting to know each other, he’s a good coach and it’s been good so far.”
The Rams know how easy it can be to get caught up in one game, but Gallant, an assistant captain with the team, insists they know what they need to do.
“You can’t get too high with the highs and too low with the lows,” Gallant said. “You’ve got to have a really short memory playing back-to-back days, so we’ve just got to enjoy this for now and get ready for tomorrow night.”
Two wins to kick-off the year is considered a successful start for any hockey team, however Ryerson head coach Graham Wise believes this year’s edition of the Rams are looking to raise the standard for hockey at Ryerson.
“I think it’s always about raising the bar,” Wise said. “And if you’re sitting in a dressing room where the previous year’s team had a good year, you want to be able to set your mark, and I think that’s kind of our attitude right now. Whether we make it or not, we’ll work hard to accomplish it.”
The Rams will be hosting Nipissing at the MAC on Friday night. Puck drop is at 7:30.