By Hayden Godfrey
Even though they came into the game with a bunch of momentum, the Ryerson Rams men’s hockey team fell to the University of Quebec Trois-Rivières (UQTR) Patriotes on Sautrday, losing 3-2 in overtime at the Mattamy Athletic Centre.
After a stellar 7-2 dismantling of the visiting UQTR Patriotes on Oct. 27, the first-place Ryerson Rams hoped to once again make quick work of their visiting East Division opponents in Saturday’s matchup. Unfortunately, the Rams were defeated by an aggressive, gritty UQTR squad that played their hearts out.
After a quick turnaround, the Rams established a lead early when veteran forward John Carpino raced down the wing and threaded the needle to notch his second goal of the season. UQTR came right back, evening the score thanks to a tremendous set of dekes by veteran forward Oliver Caouette. Though they seemed to be out-skating the Patriotes after the first frame, the Rams found themselves tied up heading into the second period.
A misplay behind the Rams’ net led to UQTR’s second goal, scored shorthanded by third-year forward Nicole Laviere in the second. Although vital, it wasn’t the goal that defined the period. The physical game that was dominant Friday carried over into Saturday, with both teams exchanging blows in front of the UQTR net following a mid-period whistle. Though the ensuing power play didn’t result in a goal, it did cause the Rams to play a defensive brand of hockey for much of the middle frame.
“We lacked energy, I don’t think we executed within our systems very well,” Rams head coach Johnny Duco said after the disappointing end to the game.
The third period, while uneventful at first, came to a screeching halt when Matt Santos potted the tying goal with less than three minutes of regulation. The Rams bench instantly sprang to life, excitedly preparing themselves for the overtime period.
Though the overtime period seemed even at first, the Patriotes broke through with two minutes remaining thanks to a heroic snapshot from right winger Deven St-Hilaire. UQTR, coming into the game with a 3-3 record, ended up leaving with a total of three points.
“They were a desperate hockey team. They came all this way and they didn’t want to leave empty handed,” Duco said. “You saw that they wanted it a little more than we did today.”
UP NEXT: The Rams will host the division rival Brock Badgers on Thursday, Nov. 1. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:15 p.m.