By Devin Jones
Get ready for the latest iteration of the Downtown Showdown as the Ryerson men’s hockey team takes on the University of Toronto Varsity Blues Wednesday night to kick off the first round, best-of-three series, in the Ontario University Athletic (OUA) playoffs.
A few weeks ago, the cross-town rivals faced off in a packed Varsity arena, which saw the Blues come away with a tight 3-2 victory. Rams head coach Graham Wise is expecting an intense series beginning Wednesday.
“I mean if your not involved with this series, you might want to take a look in the mirror, this is going to be some fun hockey.”
The Rams (15-12) will rely on the leadership of goalie Troy Passingham, captain Michael Fine as well as the continuing hot streak of fourth year right-winger Mitch Gallant. The Blues will look to goalie Brett Willows who stopped 34 of 36 shots the last time the two teams met.
“I thought we played well a few weeks ago. Their goalie made some huge saves and really kept them in the game,” said Gallant. “The playoffs [are] a new season, we need everyone playing in their roles to be successful.”
According to Gallant, the advice from Wise was the same as always.
“He told us to stay focused and have fun out there. It’s an exciting time of year and we want to play well into March,” he said.
The series will start at the Mattamy Athletic Centre on Wednesday. The game will start at 7:30 p.m. The second game will be played Saturday Feb. 14 at Varsity Arena. Saturday’s game will also start at 7:30 p.m.