By Raine Hernandez
Mathew Santos and Matt Mistele left the game heroes as the Ryerson Rams men’s hockey team picked up their first win of the regular season, defeating the Toronto Varsity Blues 6-3 at the Mattamy Athletic Centre on Oct. 12.
Following a disappointing loss on home ice to begin their season on Thursday against the Guelph Gryphons, the Rams were glad to move past that and come out with the victory.
“It was a good opportunity to bounce back after a tough loss,” said Rams head coach Johnny Duco. “We knew coming out it was going to be a good game, I thought we did a really good job tonight.”
Even though the scoresheet makes it seem like a lopsided win, that wasn’t the case throughout most of the night.
The Rams and Varsity Blues were tied at 3-3 after two periods of play, and it was not until a game-misconduct call that changed the entire momentum. Ironically, the penalty was against the Rams.
Ryerson’s forward Cavin Leth was given a 10-minute misconduct and was ejected following a collision with a Varsity Blue player.
Despite the penalty, the Rams were able to persevere as forwards Santos and Mistele stole the show.
Rams defender Greg Di Tomaso found Santos speeding through the neutral zone, as Santos split the defence and convert to give the Rams a 4-3 lead midway through the third period.
“I was just flashing through the middle, and [Di Tomaso] hit me with a nice pass, caught the [Varsity Blue’s defence] off-guard, brought it to the side and slid it in [past the goaltender],” said Santos when asked about the game-winning goal.
The dynamic duo didn’t stop there, as just three minutes later, Santos found Mistele in the slot, as he wired it past Toronto’s goaltender Frederic Foulem for his second goal of the night.
“We were really excited to get back to playing together. As we went forward, we built our chemistry back up and played well tonight,” said Santos.
Rams goaltender Garrett Forrest made 26 saves for the Rams in the 6-3 victory.
Forrest was the backup to Troy Timpano on Thursday against the Gryphons, and was sharp when needed, highlighted by a big stop on a 2-on-1 fastbreak to keep the score at 5-3 with four minutes left to play.
“[Forrest] played great tonight. He was unlucky on those tap-ins, missed assignments on our parts, we got to clean that up and be better,” said Duco, who started Forrest with Taylor Dupuis sidelined with a groin injury.
“We found a way to get it done, nothing fancy and we kept it simple, luckily we got it done tonight,” said Forrest.
UP NEXT: The Rams will have the opportunity to seek revenge against Guelph after their loss on opening night, as they travel to the Gryphon Centre on Oct. 16