Photo by Alex D'Addese

Rams fall to Badgers in regular season finale

By Ryan Bacic

TORONTO – And just like that it has come to an end.  The Rams concluded their 2017-18 regular season with a 3-0 loss to the Brock Badgers at the Mattamy Athletic Centre on Saturday night.

Much like in years prior however, tonight was not simply just another game.  Rather, this evening was a chance to reflect upon the contributions made by the Rams graduating players, who this year included Alex Basso (Toronto, Ont.), Aaron Armstrong (Teeswater, Ont.), Lucas Froese (Grunthal, Man.), and Brodie Barrick (Welland, Ont.).

“All of them have been through adversity there, and they have had to pull through it and persevere,” stated assistant coach Nathaniel Brooks, adding, “they are certainly a good example for our first and second year guys, in how to dig deep and be a successful student-athlete.”

In reminiscing on his time at Ryerson, fifth-year forward Lucas Froese seemed very proud of what he had been able to accomplish during his time in a Rams jersey.

“It’s hard to put into words,” stated Froese on his experience at Ryerson. “It’s been a great five years, with a lot of ups.  I thought I was done playing before I came here, so just the fact that I got to come here and still play the game that I love, I am very lucky.”

Heading into tonight’s game, the Rams intended to finish off their season on a high note, and secure their second-spot in the OUA’s Western conference heading into the playoffs.

However, going up against the Brock Badgers, a team which has proven to be a thorn in the Rams side all season, a stellar performance was a necessity on the evening.  

“We needed to bring as high as a competitive level as we could bring, and we didn’t see that,” stated Brooks on the team's performance on the evening, adding, “we need to find a way to dig deep and pull that competitive spirit out because that’s what it’s going to take in the playoffs.”

Scoring got underway midway through the first period, as Brock forward Cosimo Fontana (Toronto, Ont.) put his team up 1-0 midway through the opening frame.

Throughout the remainder of the opening period, the Badgers would remain all over the Rams offensively, spending long stretches of the first twenty minutes beyond the Rams blue line.

Heading into the second frame, things would not get much better for the hosting Rams.  In spite of the differences in shot attempts throughout the second period, with Ryerson recording 13 in comparison to Brock's 4, the Rams could not find a way to bury the puck in the back of the net all game.

In the face of Ryerson’s offensive struggles, the Badgers would capitalize once more, as Chris Maniccia (St. Catharines, Ont.) would provide his team's second goal on the night, to put the scoreboard at 2-0 in favour of the Badgers.

As the third period began, the Badgers continued their offensive pressure, with Cosimo Fontana adding yet another goal on the evening to provide his team with the eventual final score of 3-0.

In spite of the loss on the evening, the Rams still remain optimistic as they prepare to head into the playoffs on Wednesday, February 14.

“We’ll be ok,” stated Lucas Froese on the team’s mentality heading into the playoffs.  “There were moments in both of the last two games where we were the better team, we just had a hard time finding the net.  It’s adversity that we would rather take now, than in the playoffs.”

The Rams will be back in action next week, as they take to the ice in the first round of OUA playoffs.

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