Playing a final tune up game before the post-season, the Ryerson Rams beat the Nipissing Lakers 1-0 Sunday afternoon at Birchmount Stadium.
Alex Braletic scored his first goal since returning from an injury on Oct. 14 propelling the Rams to victory. Braletic, Milos Scepanovic and Adrian Mancini continued to press for the Rams, who all appeared to be having fun in the last regular season game.
“Everyone worked hard all season,” Braletic said. “The whole team played very well, we kept possession and everyone out there had a smile on their face.”
Assured of a playoff berth, the Rams and Lakers rested some of their starters and gave their bench some extra playing time. Still finding his rhythm after being sidelined for four games with an injury, Braletic opted to play the full game. “I wouldn’t have played the whole game, but I asked to, to get some of the kinks out,” he said. “I’m feeling a little slow, but I have a week to prepare so it’s okay.”
The win extended Ryerson’s record-setting unbeaten streak to 13 games (7-0-6) and 27 points is also a new high for the men’s squad. The defence-first team allowed the second fewest goals in the OUA East (9) only one back of division leader Queen’s.
The Rams senior players, Markus Molder and Vince D’Elia were honoured before the game, receiving plaques commemorating their five years at Ryerson. Mancini, who was honoured at the end of last season, is also leaving the team after this year.
“It was a nice senior day,” associate coach Filip Prostran said. “It was nice to see the seniors in their final regular season game. I thought the guys did well.”
Molder, D’Elia and Mancini’s OUA careers aren’t over yet. They start their hunt for the OUA title on Wednesday, when they take on the Laurentian Voyageurs at Esther Shiner Stadium.
“The real season starts in a few short days,” Prostran said. “Everything that’s happened up until this point doesn’t mean anything. Six teams make the playoffs so we’ll see what we’re made of.”
Ryerson went 1-0-1 against Laurentian this season, taking the first match 2-1 and drawing the second 0-0. Kick off is 7 p.m. on Wednesday.