Ryerson’s men’s hockey team beat Brock University in the first round of playoffs on Sunday and will play the second round series against Lakehead University today, as their quest for the Queen’s Cup continues.
The start of the playoffs marks the end of one of the best seasons for the men’s hockey team. It also means two key players on the roster will prepare to graduate.
Team captain Andrew Buck and assistant captain Dustin Alcock are the only two players graduating this spring, but they’ll leave noticeable a gap in the Rams’ roster.
“(Buck) had been our captain for three years now and is a great leader both on and off the ice,” said Graham Wise, the Rams’ head coach, after Sunday’s game. “Alcock has been with us for four years … He was our leading scorer last year. It’s been a real asset having him here.”
Alcock said he enjoyed his time on the team with a “great group” of guys. “We’re having a great season, and that’s a good way to go out,” he said, “but I’m looking forward to moving on.” Alcock plans to move back to Hamilton, his hometown.
The season may be coming to an end, but Buck said he doesn’t plan to hang up his skates anytime soon. “If an opportunity came where I could stay in the game somehow at any capacity, obviously I’d love to do it,” he said.
For the Rams, there are two gaps in the team that need filling. Wise said he’s looking for people who can provide “leadership in the room, leadership in the community. You want someone that gives leadership on the ice.”
He sees this as an opportunity for younger players to step up. “Any time you lose experienced guys, good players, like that, there’s a gap,” he said. “But other kids that are staying have the opportunity to fill those voids.”
This story was first published in The Ryersonian, a weekly newspaper produced by the Ryerson School of Journalism, on February 26, 2014.