Rams stumble before playoffs

Photo by Anna Cianni.

The Rams men’s hockey team lost 6-2 to the Guelph Gryphons on Friday night. Despite their best efforts, the Rams couldn’t cope with Guelph’s massive offensive output throughout the game.

The starting line up was Kyle Tibbo #22, Devon Paliani #19, and Marcus Hinds #57 playing offence; Alex Leader #7, Alex Basso #53 playing defence; and Taylor Dupuis #29 in net.

The game began aggressively, with the Rams sweeping the puck up the ice, towards the Guelph net.

Gryphons winger Cody Thompson flew out of the gate, scoring just 38 seconds into the period, then doubling the team’s lead just one minute later.

The Rams regrouped quickly, combining well during in their passing play as they tried to take back control of home ice. This nearly resulted in a goal, but instead a small scuffle broke out next to the Guelph net. Neither team incurred a penalty from the scrum.

The Rams regained momentum after dropping two goals early, improving puck possession for the remainder of the first period and throwing defensive caution to the wind. Their attacking industry paid off when John Carpino scored after the Rams peppered Gryphons goaltender Andrew Masters

The final minute of the second period had a lot of action, but resulted in no change to the score, sending the teams into the third period with two goals respectively.

After some aggressive playing on both sides in the second period. The Rams tied it up with a hard shot by Leth to cut the Gryphons’ lead in half.

The beginning of the second period saw a few more shots on net from both teams, but to no avail. Daniel Poliziani #14, Leth #9, and Paliani #19 set up a passing triangle in front of the Guelph net and got in some fiery slap shots. But no goals.

Photo by Anna Cianni.

Then, Armstrong #10 took a shot in front of the net and got crushed flat by a Gryphon that fell on top of him.

Dupuis #29 made some incredible saves, with the puck being shot from close range. The crowd clapped and cheered with each puck caught.

A sneaky pass by Guelph in front of the Ryerson net left the Rams scrambling, but they didn’t give up and quickly sent the puck back to the Guelph side.

The Rams were close to a goal, but a major crash against the boards between Paliani #19 and a Gryphon literally knocked the helmet off the Guelph player. He received a penalty for cross-checking.

As the Rams pressed on, Steven Harland #91 got a penalty, Lucas Froese #23 got slammed into the boards while trying to make a move against Guelph, and Tre Folkes #36 got checked so hard that he was flipped over the side into the Ryerson bench area.

Leth #9 got a breakaway, but shot way too high and missed the net, much to the audience’s audible disappointment.

As the second period came to an end, the Rams had 24 shots on goal, while the Gryphons had 21. The score remained tied at 2-2.

The third and final period started with a few hard shots against Guelph and a penalty for Matt Nosella #26. But then things took a turn for the worse. The Gryphons fought back, scoring their third goal and pulling ahead, 3-2.

The Gryphons continued putting on the pressure with some fast shots on goal and close calls for Ryerson. The Rams defended tirelessly, not willing to let in another, but their defence was too weak.

Guelph scored again, making the score 4-2. Less than a minute later, the Gryphons got a breakaway. Thanks to some sloppy work from the Rams, Guelph managed to slide the puck in another time, increasing their lead by three goals, 5-2.

With less than 10 minutes left in the game, the Rams gave it everything they had. Guelph got another breakaway, but Dupuis #29 held the Gryphon off. Unfortunately, Guelph got a penalty shot and scored again. The score stood at 6-2 with just over six minutes left on the clock.

Photo by Anna Cianni.

The Rams struggled to make up the difference, but they didn’t manage to score again. The game ended 6-2 for the Gryphons, with Ryerson having a total of 30 shots on goal and Guelph having 33.

Regardless of the outcome, Johnny Duco, the men’s hockey coach, said he is still confident moving into the playoffs. He said that while they stumbled in the third period, the team is looking good going towards the playoffs.

Brodie Barrick #30 and Armstrong #10 were both optimistic as well. Barrick acknowledged the loss today, but was excited to be back on the ice for the first time this season. Armstrong said there’s a lot of talent on the team and he’s looking forward to winning upcoming games.

The Rams will face the Brock Badgers tonight at the MAC. Puck drops at 7:15 p.m.

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