Rams win high-scoring affair in front of WOCO fans
TORONTO - The No. 10 ranked Ryerson Rams men's hockey team outlasted the visiting York Lions on Saturday afternoon, taking an entertaining 7-6 victory in front of a large WOCO crowd at the Mattamy Athletic Centre.
The Rams got the scoring started late in the first period when Marcus Hinds forced a turnover in the offensive zone and fed Patrick Fellows who buried his shot from the slot. The goal came with just 1:15 left in the period and the Rams took a 1-0 lead into the intermission.
In the second period the teams exchanged goals, five of them in total, to open up the ice and make for a back and forth affair.
Ryerson doubled their lead to 2-0 just over five minutes into the second period when defenceman Connor Schlichting found himself open in the slot and converted for his first OUA goal.
"It was good, I was obviously happy to get that (first goal) but I was also a little surprised to find myself there, if I'm being honest," described Schlichting post-game.
Next came a pair of Lions goals off the stick of Reid Jackman about six minutes apart from each other to level the game at 2-2. Ryerson's Mat Santos then scored on the power play to regain the Rams lead, but as the second period was winding down it was York's Daniel Nikandrov scoring a shorthanded tally to level the score at 3-3 heading to the second intermission.
Ryerson had a dream start to the third period when Cavin Leth scored just 18 seconds into the frame, but York was quick to respond once more as Scott Feser scored the Lions' second shorthanded goal of the game just over a minute later.
Patrick Fellows scored his second of the game when he tapped in a rebound to lift the Rams to a 5-4 advantage and Jesse Barwell gave the Rams some breathing room when he used a backhand to beat Lions' goalie Mack Shields. That goal made it 6-4 with 11 minutes to play.
From there, the teams traded three more goals - two for York and one for the Rams from defenceman Jared Walsh - but the Lions couldn't recover from the two goal deficit and Ryerson held on for the high scoring victory.
"Any time you can get three out of four points in a weekend in our conference, with how tight things are now, it's huge," said head coach Johnny Duco. "To find a way to beat (York) is always important, especially with a good crowd and a good atmosphere in the building."
With the win the Rams move back into first place in the OUA West division and coach Duco attributes a lot of his team's success to its make up.
"I love the balance of our team, I think we've got some excellence leadership that's essentially an extension of our coaching staff and they do a great job making sure the guys are focused and on task. We've got a great influx of young, talented players that have stepped in and contributed...so we're really fortunate to have the group we have and we're excited to keep it rolling."
The Rams are back in action next weekend when they head west to play Western and Windsor. They'll be back on home ice for their annual school day game on February 1st.