Photo by Hung Le

Rams win game one of weekend showdown with UQTR

By Cara Gilhula

TORONTO - The Rams returned home on Friday for night one against UQTR at the Mattamy Athletic Centre.  After a long road trip last weekend, the Rams were excited to make a comeback at home after their first overtime win, and loss of the season. Fortunately, the Rams saw a strong ending with a final score of 7-2.  

The Rams came out strong in the first period. Seconds in Matt Mistele (Whitby, Ont.) fired off the post, making sure UQTR was on their toes in net.

Then, one minute into the play, Mistele passed the puck to Gregory DiTomaso (Etobicoke, Ont.), at the blue line. DiTomaso fired the puck on net and hit a few of the UQTR players, and Mathew Santos (Toronto, Ont.) was there for the tip to give the Rams an early 1-0 lead. This was Santos’ sixth goal of the season.  

Not long after, Marcus Hinds (Toronto, Ont.) moved the puck well to Devon Paliani (LaSalle, Ont.). Paliani then found Vince Figliomeni (Bolton, Ont.) at the front of the net. He deflected the puck low and it trickled through the five hole to give the Rams a 2-0 lead at 2:18 in the first period.

The Rams continued to stay strong on the puck and create openings on the ice to help move the puck down the boards.

At 7:26 UQTR made their way in the Rams defensive zone, and was able to get off a shot on goalie Taylor Dupuis (New Liskeard, Ont.). Dupuis made the quick save, except UQTR's Mathieu Boucher was there for the rebound. Rams still lead 2-1.

With fifty seconds left, for what looked like the Rams owning the first period, quickly came to an end when UQTR's Olivier Caouette scored to make it a tie game heading into intermission. Ryerson entered the period with 10 shots versus UQTR’s eight.

Heading into the second period, both the Rams and UQTR kept the pressure on each other, and the play stayed at a constant pace. There was a number of scrambles in the front of both nets to attribute to the bouncing puck that could not be controlled. Further on, the majority of the play was in the UQTR zone, except the Rams could not get the bounce to extend the lead.

It was clear that both teams were starting to feel the tension as the score remained at 2-2 in the latter half of the second period. Alex Basso (Toronto, Ont.) and UQTR’s Guillaume Bergeron-Charron earned a coincidental after fighting behind the Rams’ net.

This lead to a 4 on 4 matchup where Steve Harland (Toronto, Ont.) was able to skate up the ice and dangle his way through the defense, until he found an opening and made a strong and accurate shot. Harland gave the Rams the lead of 3-2 at 7:06 for his third goal of the season.  

“I found the opening and I think that’s just part of my game. Luckily, Shoemaker made a really good stop in the ‘D zone,’ and I got the puck up, and then I just shot the puck,” claimed Harland.

From there, the Rams picked up speed again, and took advantage of their power play. Santos setup Harland, who found Hayden McCool (Whitby, Ont.) for an effective one timer. This was also McCool’s third goal of the season. The Rams now lead 4-2 entering the third period.

Into the third period, the Rams did not let up against UQTR. Once they returned control, the Rams would reset in their end to make an offensive play in UQTR’s zone.

Patrick Fellows took advantage of the turnover, and skated through the blue line and into the zone for a breakaway and scored his second goal of the season. Ryerson was then up 5-2.

After, Mistele took control of the play, passing the puck to Santos, who found the tape of McCool to earn his second goal of the game. The Rams extended their lead 6-2.

With just over four minutes left in the third period, Harland found Mistele who gave a sweeping pass to McCool in front of UQTR’s net. McCool made contact and tipped the puck in, to earn his third goal of the game.  Ryerson beat UQTR 7-2 in their first showing.

“I think we capitalized on scoring chances, especially in the second and third. We were really good defensively and shutting down their power play, so I think that’s huge and we have to keep doing that,” says Harland.

As the weekend continues, it will be another interesting matchup tomorrow now that both teams see each other’s strengths and weaknesses. It will be expected that each team will come out stronger in order to fix mistakes that were previously made today.

“We got the two quick ones and then after that they came back hard, which was great for them because they are a good team. But luckily for us we kept going and were the winner tonight.  I think if we come out strong with a couple goals and not be laid back tomorrow then we will show them that we are also a really good team. We just have to keep doing that for the full 60 and then it will for sure be a good game,” says Harland.

The Rams will look forward to another win tomorrow, when they take on UQTR for their second game of the weekend at the Mattamy Athletic Centre. Game start will be at 4:15 p.m. For updates, follow us on Twitter.

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