By Max Lewis
Rams goaltender Taylor Dupuis’ 25-save shutout helped secure a 7-0 win for the men’s hockey team over the Royal Military College (RMC) Paladins Friday night at the Mattamy Athletic Centre, pushing Ryerson’s record to 3-0 to open the 2017-2018 season.
After two nail-biting overtime affairs to open the season, the third time was the charm for the still-undefeated Rams, who finally fully unleashed their high-powered offence on the winless Paladins, totalling seven goals from seven different players.
The first period was sloppy to say the least, and early on, it looked like Ryerson would struggle to find the back of the net. Both teams came out hitting, but the intensity didn’t exactly translate to finesse.
Passes went astray, and those that found their intended target were squandered early on by the Rams, who were stonewalled consistently by Paladins goaltender Austin Hannaford.
Dupuis did his part as well in the first, stifling some key RMC chances out front to keep the game scoreless. “First couple [saves] are always big, that’s what get’s you into the game,” Dupuis said after his standout performance. “To be able to make those, not be down going into the second obviously gives the team a boost.”
The boys in blue cured themselves of whatever was ailing them in the first, and opened the floodgates in the second. Rams defender Erick DeLaurentis opened the scoring with his first marker of the season, one-timing a Greg DiTomaso pass home.
“Felt good, linemates played well tonight, all four lines were buzzing,” DeLaurentis said when asked about that first goal.
From then on, the Rams were flying. Ryerson added three more goals in the frame, including a brilliant feed from Lucas Froese—his first of two assists on the night—to Devon Paliani for the nice finish.
In the third, Ryerson didn’t let up, and captain Alex Basso scored the game’s seventh and final goal on a blast to the short side to put an end to a tough night for the Paladins. The defence corps battened down the hatches, stifling any chance of an RMC goal, let alone any hope for a comeback.
Through three games this season, Ryerson is averaging over five goals per game, and they’ll look to continue the offensive barrage Saturday night against the Queen’s University Gaels, a team looking to rebound from a 2-1 shootout loss to the University of Toronto.
The 2-0-1 Gaels added some impressive recruits this season, including NHL draft picks Patrick Sanvido and Jaden Lindo, and although it’s early in the season, the Rams already know it’s an important OUA matchup.
“I think it will be a good tester for us,” stated DeLaurentis. “Gotta get a good sleep tonight and be back at it tomorrow even harder.”
So far this season, Ryerson’s new recruits, including shifty forward Steven Harland and hulking defenseman Andrew Mullen, who had an impressive debut for the squad against RMC, are fitting in seamlessly with the veteran team.
“Obviously, [there are] a lot of new guys this year,” Dupuis said. “But when we can come together as a team there on the ice, [it] translates into wins.”
If Friday’s game was any indicator, goal scoring won’t be an issue for this Rams squad. And if the team can continue to develop sound defence and solid goaltending, Ryerson seems poised for another banner year.
Up Next: Ryerson faces Queen’s at the Mattamy Athletic Centre in the teams’ first matchup of the young season. Puck drop is set for 7:15 p.m.