Photo Courtesy: Hung Le

McCool scores hat trick, Rams decimate UQTR to improve to 5-1

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By Hayden Godfrey

The Ryerson Rams men’s hockey team dominated the University of Quebec Trois-Rivières Patriotes (UQTR) on Oct. 26, taking a 7-2 win at the Mattamy Athletic Centre.

It’s not often that the Patriotes and Rams meet up with each other. Given the limited games between the two, the Rams were looking to take full advantage of the situation and they’d do exactly that.

The Rams attacked quickly, scoring two odd goals in the first three minutes of play to soar out to an early 2-0 lead. The goals, courtesy of Matthew Santos and Vince Figliomeni, were the product of an aggressive offensive strategy exhibited by the Rams. UQTR’s goalie, the normally solid Alexandre Bélanger, struggled heavily in the opening minutes, with both goals barely squeezing past his reach.

“He’s a heck of a goalie, so we knew it was going to be a tough task,” Rams head coach Johnny Duco said after game. “But if we executed and played within our systems, we knew we’d get plenty of opportunities.”

The Patriotes came back with a pair of unanswered goals in the latter half of the frame, with the second coming in the dying seconds. Forwards Mathieu Boucher and Olivier Caouette provided the early firepower for UQTR.

After an uneventful start to the second frame, the Rams jumped back in with two goals to take the lead heading into the third. Steve Harland, a second-year forward, beautifully dangled his way through a pair of UQTR defenders to roof a wrist shot for the first of the pair, while rookie Hayden McCool tapped in a loose puck to secure the fourth Ryerson goal.

The final period saw an explosion of offense from the Rams, thanks to McCool—who added his second and third goals of the night to complete the hat trick—and Patrick Fellows, a first-year forward who threaded the needle with a series of terrific dekes for his second goal of the campaign.

“This a fun team to play for,” McCool told the Eye. “Everyone knows their job, so you don’t have to worry about anyone else and can just focus on your job.”

UP NEXT: The Rams and Patriotes will go at it again on Saturday, Oct. 27. Puck drop is scheduled for 4:15 p.m.

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