By Jordan Jacklin
The Rams men’s hockey team defeated the University of Toronto (U of T) Varsity Blues 4-2 in their first game in 18 months, on Oct. 13 at the Mattamy Athletic Centre (MAC).
U of T got the scoring started early, netting a goal in the first two minutes of action. But their only lead of the night was short lived, as Rams forward Jeremiah Addison scored a breakaway goal to even the score.
With 13 minutes left in the first period, Rams veteran Jesse Barwell was sprung from the penalty box and added to the score. To cap off the period, Ryan Wells added to the Rams’ hot start by scoring the team’s third goal of the game.
Both teams combined for five goals in the first period. No more goals were scored in the game, until Addison added his second of the night on an empty netter in the third period.
The Rams and Varsity Blues played a much tighter 40 minutes of hockey in the final two periods of action. While it was only a preseason game, the rivalry between the two sides was in full force. Body checks were thrown in bunches, which resulted in a plethora of penalties being taken by both teams throughout the contest.
Veteran Rams goalie Garrett Forrest was forced to make some incredible saves in the dying minutes of the second period to keep U of T from adding another goal. After starting the game by allowing two goals in the first period, he wouldn’t let anything past him in.
To their credit, the Varsity Blues weren’t going away easily. U of T’s goaltender made three quality saves to open the final frame as his team was allowing too many odd-man rushes. Physicality remained a factor in the third, with both teams’ penalty kill units getting extra practice.
In the late stages of the game’s final frame, the Varsity Blues pulled their goalie in favour of the extra attacker. While U of T nearly got the equalizer past Forrest, he was bailed out by every goalie’s best friend, the post.
The Rams men’s hockey team is officially back in action. While fans aren’t currently allowed to attend games at the MAC, the team’s high-octane offence will be waiting for them when they can be in the building.
In the meantime, the Rams travel to London, Ont., to take on the Western Mustangs. The last time the Rams and Mustangs met, they were eliminated from the playoffs by Western in a 3-2 overtime heartbreaker.
UP NEXT: The Rams take on the Western Mustangs on Oct. 15. Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m.