By Devin Jones
Despite energy and an early lead, the Ryerson men’s hockey team (11-9-2) lost a crucial game 5-4 against the Waterloo Warriors (14-6-2) Thursday night.
Waterloo right-winger Andrew Smith scored the winning goal mid-way through the third period; in a game that saw the Ram’s offense show signs of intensity, but ultimately fell short and missed out on two points leading into the playoffs.
“I liked the way we started for sure,” said head coach Graham Wise. “But we have to play a full sixty minutes that way, from the goaltender out.”
The opening seconds of the game saw the Warriors go up 1-0 curtsey of left-winger Mitch Elliot. The Rams answered quickly, with centre Jason Kelly scoring his fifth of the year to tie it. Rams wingers Michael Fine and Robert Visca would both score two minutes apart, pushing Ryerson to a 3-1 lead. Elliot would score his second of the game late in the period, making it 3-2 Ryerson heading into the second.
The second period saw a different Waterloo team emerge from the dressing room. After Rams right-winger Mitch Gallant made it 4-2 Ryerson, Warrior wingers Matt Amadio and Kain Allicock scored two quick goals late in the frame to tie the game at four.
“In the second period they got those two quick goals, which makes it a tie ball game,” Wise said. “Now you’re playing a twenty minute hockey game to see who wins, and they got the extra goal.”
The third period saw more of the same, with the Rams unable to match Waterloo’s intensity. Four missed power-play opportunities and a breakdown in defense saw Smith score the winning goal 11 minutes into the period, securing the game and extending the Warriors point streak to 13 in its last nine games.
“They found a way, plain and simply, to get it done,” said Fine. “We got a little complacent, and we got to keep the pedal to the metal, it was a good effort but they just found a way to win.”
The loss is Ryerson’s second in a row. The Rams currently sit fourth in the OUA West division standings, but only have a five-point cushion on the team’s chasing them, with only six games left in the season.
You can catch the Rams at home Saturday, Jan. 24 against the Lakehead Thunderwolves at the Mattamy Athletic Centre. The game starts at 2:30 p.m.