First place is up for grabs this weekend as the Rams men’s hockey team visits the Lakehead Thunderwolves in a doubleheader with potentially major playoff implications.
The Rams currently sit atop the OUA West standings with 28 points from 20 games played, but Lakehead is only one point off the top, and has played two fewer games.
Both teams will be looking to bounce back from recent losses, with the Rams coming off of Wednesday’s loss to Western, and Lakehead trying to end a two-game losing streak.
Leaving the weekend with all four points will be a tough task for the Rams because Lakehead has made its home a fortress this season, winning all eight games played at Fort William Gardens.
“They get good fan support. If you get off to a good start and get the first puck in the net it’s our advantage,” says head coach Graham Wise.
Wise says the team is not in panic mode and just needs to bring its game to the Thunderwolves and execute its systems. He says there is no doubt that this weekend will have a huge impact on where the Rams finish in the standings.
Rookie Domenic Alberga, who is leading the league in goals and is second in points behind linemate Jamie Wise, says this is “one of the biggest weekends. We have to play Ryerson hockey and stick to the game plan.”
The Rams boast the most potent offence, leading the division in scoring. However, Alberga and the rest of the Rams’ top forward line will have a tough matchup against a defensively sound team that has allowed only 43 goals, a defensive best for the division.
Captain Andrew Buck is in his fifth year playing for Ryerson and this will be his first time playing against Lakehead. “These are the fun games,” says Buck. “It’s what we play for.”
Getting these four points on the road would help the Rams build on what has been one of their best seasons in many years.
The two teams will go head-to-head on Friday and Saturday nights.