By Hayden Godfrey
On the road in London, the Ryerson Rams men’s hockey team heartbreakingly fell 5-2 to the resilient Western Mustangs in Game 2 of the second round of the OUA Queen’s Cup Playoffs.
Having won the series opener Wednesday at the Mattamy Athletic Centre, the Rams will now have to win the series’ rubber match Sunday to extend their season and finally break the second round curse that has plagued the team for the last four seasons.
In an excessively physical and sloppy first period, the Rams got on the board early when Devon Paliani tipped a Matt Mistele shot past Mustangs goalie Luke Peressini but soon surrendered the lead when Western’s Zach Core and Anthony Stefano potted goals of their own to make it 2-1.
Still, in the first frame, Ryerson knotted things up when forward Mathew Santos stripped Peressini of the puck behind his net and buried it following a swift wraparound.
Before the period ended, the Mustangs answered rapidly, thanks this time to Sean Montgomery, who fired a top-shelf wrister over the left shoulder of netminder Garrett Forrest.
In the second period, Western was unable to line-match the Rams spreading out their lethal trio of Matt Mistele, Hayden McCool, and Santos, leading to a strikingly uneven middle 20 minutes.
Despite numerous bouts of utter dominance though, the Mustangs clung desperately to their one-goal lead at the end of the frame.
Unfortunately, it was much of the same in the third period, as the Rams excelled in the first half of the frame, but this time surrendered crucial insurance goals off the sticks of Franco Sproviero and Montgomery, ultimately falling 5-2.
UP NEXT: For the fifth straight season, the Rams will face elimination in the second round of the OUA Queen’s Cup playoffs. Puck drops in Game 3 Sunday at 7:15 p.m at the MAC.