By Justin Walters
The Ryerson Rams men’s hockey team held on to win an exciting 3-2 overtime game on Jan. 23 against the Waterloo Warriors at the Mattamy Athletic Centre.
Rams captain Matt Mistele buried the game-winning goal just 40 seconds into the overtime period. It was the reigning Ontario University Athletics West MVP’s second goal of the game and 11th on the season.
To cap off the win, Rams goaltender Garrett Forrest broke the record for most wins in a single season with 15.
“He’s been such a stabilizing force for us back there this season,” said Rams head coach Johnny Duco about his netminder. “They had some grade-A scoring chances and he came up huge for us today like he has all season.”
When asked about setting the record, Forrest didn’t talk about himself but about how important this win was for the team.
“I’m trying to treat these last few games like they are playoff hockey to get in the right mindset,” said Forrest. “Every game moving forward we have to get in that right mentality.”
The game started out as a defensive stalemate until the Rams started to get into a bit of penalty trouble around the midpoint of the first period.
On Ryerson’s second penalty kill of the game, they took advantage of a bad line change by the Warriors as forward Jesse Barwell got behind the Waterloo defence and scored a shorthanded breakaway goal over the glove of goaltender Trevor Martin.
“I wasn’t planning it, but I saw a guy come up my left-hand side, so I said to myself, ‘I got to go backhand,’” Barwell said about the goal. “So, I waited out the goalie, shot a backhand and it worked out.”
The shorthanded goal seemed to spark the Rams as they dominated the rest of the period and extended their lead by two before the period ended. Ryerson’s second goal came courtesy of Mistele on a tip in front of the net.
Waterloo, who got into some penalty in the second, was able to survive a 53-second 5-3 penalty kill.
Later, just at the end of another Waterloo penalty, some sloppy play by the Rams lead to the puck coming to centre ice all alone right as Warriors forward Markson Bechtold was exiting the penalty box.
Bechtold beat Rams goaltender Garrett Forrest through his five-hole to cut the lead in half.
The Warriors pressed hard with 11:03 left in the final period as Warriors forward Michael Morgan finished off a nice 2-1 to tie the game 2-2.
Neither team broke the deadlock in regulation, so overtime was required.
And that’s when Mistele had all the time in the world to shoot the puck into a wide-open net, thanks to a beautiful pass from Devon Paliani, to give the Rams a thrilling 3-2 victory.
UP NEXT: Ryerson will travel to Waterloo to close out their season series with the Warriors. Puck drops at 7:00 p.m.