Photo by Christian Bender

Rams advance to OUA quarter-final after defeating Toronto

By Cara Gilhula

TORONTO — The Ryerson Rams defeated the Toronto Varsity Blues 4-3 on Saturday night during game two to move on to the next round of playoffs after sweeping the series 2-0. 

Marcus Hinds (Toronto, Ont.) put the Rams on the board late in the first period. Matt Mistele (Whitby, Ont.) and Mathew Santos (Toronto, Ont.) both scored in the third period to advance the Rams, and Hayden McCool (Whitby, Ont.) scored a late empty net goal to give the Rams much needed insurance. 

The Rams came out firing off the drop with a quick shot off the post by Cavin Leth (Taber, Ont.), but the Varsity Blues came out battling as expected. 

The Varsity Blues scored first with a goal by Aidan Wallace (Toronto, Ont.). From there, the Rams struggled with momentum and urgency, which they saw during game one against the Varsity Blues on Thursday. 

Taylor Dupuis (New Liskeard, Ont.) held the crease, while the offence pushed enough to score late in the first period to tie the Varsity Blues.

Vince Figliomeni (Bolton, Ont.) made the pass to Mark Shoemaker (Mississauga, Ont.), who was waiting at the point. With the shot, Shoemaker put the puck into the Varsity Blues zone and it was Hinds to tip the puck into the net. 

The Varsity Blues lead the period with 14 shots to the Rams 11. 

Early in the second period the Varsity Blues David Thomson (Vaughan, Ont.) scored top shelf on a two on one to take the lead 2-1. Dupuis continued to keep the Rams in the game as they struggled offensively and defensively. The Rams saw some chances off the post and the crossbar, but their frustrations were also growing. Overall, the Rams needed to lock down their defence to minimize the Varsity Blues chances.

The second period remained scoreless after the early goal by the Varsity Blues. The shots were in favour of the Varsity Blues 25 to the Rams 18. 

The third period set a new tone of urgency for the Rams. Alex Basso (Toronto, Ont.) carried the puck up the ice with one minute into the third period. Mistele received the puck and fired it, using the Varsity Blues to deflect the puck and throw off goalie, Alex Bishop (Richmond Hill, Ont.). The game was then tied 2-2. 

The energy continued to increase and the Varsity Blues started to hold back. All the while, Dupuis was in front of every chance they got. This helped hold the Rams, and give them a chance to focus on their offensive push. 

Off the face off, McCool was tangled up with the puck in his feet and was able to deflect a short pass to Santos. After plenty of chances earlier on, Santos was finally able to turn and fire it in to give the Rams the lead at 3-2.

The Rams continued to take advantage of each opportunity, but Bishop caused some problems for the Rams, making a number of great saves. In the Rams zone, the defence was still struggling, partially due to being short-handed for the majority of the period. Fortunately, Dupuis was comfortable in net once again, and kept the Rams in the game. 

During the last five minutes of the third, the Rams were in the penalty box causing a five on two. Ryerson was able to maintain their lead, and they luckily earned some insurance with a shorthanded, empty-net goal from McCool. Assists were earned by Dupuis and Basso at 18:56. The Rams advanced 4-2. 

Seconds later, Toronto’s Evan MacEachern (Dartmouth, N.S.) scored a powerplay goal to trail the Rams 4-3 with thirty seconds left in the game. Fortunately, McCool got that empty net goal to prevent another over time, and earn the Rams the 4-3 final. 

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