By Eric Cruikshank
Coming off an electrifying 4-1 win against Queen’s in their homecoming matchup, the Ryerson Rams men’s hockey team couldn’t carry that momentum in their back-to-back, as they fell 5-3 to the Ontario Tech Ridgebacks at the Mattamy Athletic Centre on Sept. 21.
Ontario Tech came out strong early, controlling the offence and spending the majority of the first period in Ryerson’s zone, which resulted in Ridgebacks defenceman Brennan Roy flying past goaltender Troy Timpano to make it a 1-0 lead.
The Rams immediately responded as defenceman Andrew Mullen found forward Brandon Glover for a breakaway goal to tie the game at 1-1 just 14 seconds later.
Fast forward to later in the period, as Ryerson would break the tie with forward Domenic Commisso feeding Steven Harland, who picked the corner on Ontario Tech’s goalie Michael Bullion to give the Rams a 2-1 lead heading into the second period.
But penalty trouble would be the story of the game, as the Rams gave up two power-play goals in the second frame, as well as another even-strength goal to give the Ridgebacks a comfortable 4-2 lead in what was an overall scrappy period of play.
“Everyone’s just getting back into the swing of things, and sometimes emotions get kinda high,” said Rams forward Hayden McCool. “Those things kind of sort themselves out during the year.”
Rams head coach Johnny Duco expressed the importance of improving their special teams moving forward.
“Every game we want to win the special teams battle, and last night both our power-play and penalty kill were excellent, and tonight, neither were excellent,” said Duco. “We definitely lost the special teams battle tonight, and that was the direct result of losing the hockey game.”
Keeping the Ridgebacks on their heels in the final period, Ryerson came out with a bounce in their step, but Bullion stood tall making a number of tremendous stops.
Despite the Rams finally burying a power-play goal courtesy of forward Adam Craievich with 1:23 remaining, the Ridgebacks sealed the win with an empty-net goal with 30 seconds remaining.
UP NEXT: The Rams will get some much-needed rest after their back-to-back before taking on Concordia on Sep. 27th