By Gracie Brision
The Ryerson men’s hockey team claimed their second victory of the season over the York Lions 6-4 at the Mattamy Athletic Centre (MAC) Friday night.
The Rams started the game off strong with tough man on man defense, keeping the Lions from attempting any shots. Rams captain Michael Fine scored on the first shot of the game giving Ryerson the early lead. Moments after the goal, York fought back, literally, which landed forward Nathan Larson in the box. As York continued to play their rough and aggressive game, they still couldn’t stop the Rams’ offense. Twenty seconds into the power play, Fine and Erick DeLaurentis assisted Keevin Cutting on another goal.
“We definitely emphasized our first period. We haven’t had the greatest first periods this whole season so that was a big part. We’ve been working hard but we haven’t been working smart,” Fine said.
With a 2-0 score heading into the final few minutes of the period, the Lions hot-tempered play brought out a fight between York’s Julien LePage and Rams’ Sam Blanchet. The Rams finished the period up by two.
Coming into the second period, the Rams didn’t slow down their game and Joel Wigle scored 30 seconds in assisted by Aaron Armstrong. Ten seconds later, Fine found himself in the box and York capitalized on the power play with Trevor Peterson scoring top shelf. At 12:07 Lions’ Derek Sheppard took two minutes for cross checking and Cutting scored his second goal of the night on the power play.
“It’s nice to get on the board early. Get the bench up and get everyone into it. It was good to pop a couple by them after that as well,” Gallant said.
The Rams opened the third period with a goal by Lucas Froese at 18:16, but the Lions came back like dynamite. Getting into some penalty trouble, Gallant and Brian Birkhoff took two minutes in the box for high sticking within seconds of each other. In the five-on-three power play, the Lions scored their second goal of the night. The teams had tied up their shots on goal at the 11 minute mark and momentum was in York’s favour. With Blanchet in the box it took just nine seconds into the five-on-four, for York’s Greg Milner to score two goals on the same power play. With the score now close at 5-4, the Lions had five shots on net in just under a minute. But their aggressive offense did not win them the game, as Wigle scored the sixth goal of the night on an empty net to seal the Rams’ victory.
“I thought we executed on what we were asking our boys to do, other than the penalty trouble that we got into. Their first three goals were all on the power play, that’s a pretty good sign to stay out of the box,” said head coach Graham Wise. “Other than that, I just think that they pushed hard in the third. A lot of teams fold their tent when they’re down 5-1.”
The Rams will take on the Brock Badgers Oct. 31) in St. Catharines, Ont. starting at 7:15 p.m.