By Deejay Seeley
The Ryerson men’s hockey team beat the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) Ridgebacks 6-2 on Thursday night at the Mattamy Athletic Centre.
The first period began slowly, despite a goal by Lucas Froese, to put the Rams up by one. The Ridgebacks responded with their own — a rebound shot by Alex Derlis to even up the score.
The Rams were tested with an interference penalty, taken by Froese, with a little less than three minutes remaining in the period. They passed the test and kept the game tied at one a piece.
Into the second period, Mitch Gallant scored the go-ahead goal, aiming for the top shelf over Ridgeback’s goalie Colin Dzijacky’s shoulder. The Gallant goal seemed to fire up the Rams, as they would score three unanswered goals in the second — one of them being shorthanded.
Michael Fine was able to produce while teammate Daniel Clairmont was off for hooking, putting Ryerson up 3-1. The Rams were handed their first power play of the night when Derlis of the Ridgebacks took a hooking penalty. Less than a minute later, Jake Logan took a slashing penalty midway through the second.
This led to a 5-on-3 power play goal scored by Dean Willmott, with the assists going to Kyle Blaney and Andreas Tsogkas. The period ended in a 2-on-1 rush, with Domenic Alberga shooting one past Dzijacky to put the Rams up 5-1.
In the third, the Ridgebacks pulled Dzijacky and replaced him with Jesse Raymond. The goaltending change seemed to ignite the Ridgebacks, despite their four-goal deficit. They were a little bit too energized, as Mitch Bennett took a slashing penalty to give Ryerson their third powerplay.
The Rams capitalized on that power play, with Willmott blasting a slap shot past Raymond for his second goal of the night. The goal put the Rams up 6-1, but the Ridgebacks would cut the lead on a power play with a goal scored by Bennett.
The Rams got one last chance on their own power play, but failed to capitalize on the man advantaged. They skated away with the win, despite being outshot, 35 to 32.
Despite Ryerson dominating the game from the second period on, head coach Graham Wise said they had not expected such an outcome, stating that the OUIT Ridgebacks are an unpredictable team to play.
Willmott, with a two-goal night, stated that the second period was their strongest, saying, “[The Ridgebacks] are different than a lot of the teams we play, so we made our adjustments in between periods and I feel like we had a good game from there.”
The Rams are back in action Friday night against the Queen’s Gaels at 7:30 p.m. at the Mattamy Athletic Centre.