By Luke Burrows
In a triumphant return to the win column to climb atop the OUA standings, the Ryerson Rams men’s hockey team edged the Brock Badgers in a 4-3 thriller on Nov. 1.
The Rams wasted no time in setting the tone from the opening face-off. Defenceman Jared Walsh absolutely rocked Badgers forward Ryan Burton no more than seven seconds into the game, foreshadowing the intensity that would come for the following 60 minutes.
Halfway through a push and pull opening frame, Badgers forward Brandon O’Quinn capitalized on a powerplay and netted his second of the season by tipping a shot past Rams goaltender Taylor Dupuis. The Rams wouldn’t let that faze them as they’d bounce back a few moments later.
With only five minutes remaining in the first, Ryerson found themselves on the man-advantage. While controlling the unit, Rams forward Matt Mistele set up teammate Mathew Santos, who found the back of the net to add the equalizer at one apiece.
Ryerson took a 2-1 lead in the first half of the second period on a brilliant individual effort from John Carpino on another powerplay. Badgers captain Brody Silk responded to even the score, ending the period at a tie.
The third period opened up, as goals were exchanged again from both teams. Rams rookie and Whitby, Ont. native Hayden McCool scored his sixth of the season, while Silk would also tally his second of the game shortly after to set the score at 3-3.
With the score tied and three minutes remaining in the third, the chance of a second straight overtime game for the Rams increased. Unfortunately for the road team, Santos had other ideas.
The freshman forward would capitalize off a strong face-off win from McCool, and score his second of the game and ninth of the season to give the Rams a 4-3 lead. The goal, which happened to be the game winner, put Santos in sole possession of the league scoring title.
When asked about his early season success, Santos praised the team around him more than himself.
”I have two great linemates,” Santos said. “I accompany that with just shooting the puck, just taking advantage of the opportunity I have.”
With the victory, Ryerson now holds a 6-1-1 record and first place in OUA West standings with 13 points.
UP NEXT: The Rams will have little time to relax, as they’ll head over to play the second place York Lions at Canlan Ice Sports arena on Friday Nov. 2. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.