Free student admission and cheap beer were just the ticket in drawing a season-high 2,156 fans to the Mattamy Athletic Centre, helping spur the Ryerson Rams to a 6-1 win over Guelph in OUA Men’s Hockey action Thursday night.
Fans showed up in droves to cheer on the Rams on “Student Night,” which offered free entry to any student with a One Card, to go along with $3 beers. For once, there was a real buzz in the stands.
“It was awesome,” Rams’ fifth-year captain Andrew Buck told reporters postgame. “The boys were definitely fired up after seeing the crowd.”
Rams broadcaster Ryan McKenna, who worked the game as a sideline reporter standing between the player benches, felt first-hand the difference a raucous crowd can make on the outcome.
“It just adds a completely different element to the game, said McKenna, a third-year journalism student. “It raises the players up, and it adds intensity (along with) the dramatic and fun aspects to the game.”
The Rams (3-1) fell behind 1-0 early in the first period, before rallying for six unanswered goals to blow out the Gryphons (3-2) and move into a tie for second place in the OUA West division. Adam Courchaine stopped 26 of 27 shots to get the win in his debut between the pipes for the Rams.
The announced attendance marked the second largest crowd ever on hand to watch a university hockey game at the MAC in its short history. The Rams drew over 2,600 fans to their inaugural game on Mattamy Home Ice, a 6-3 loss to Queen’s on Oct. 12, 2012.
“We’re very happy with the attendance and the energy that they brought,” said Kelly Austin, Director of Marketing, Mattamy Athletic Centre. “We’d love to see it every time the Rams play.”