The loss comes at a critical point in the season for the Rams [7-14-0] who instead of closing a six-point gap with the Blues [8-8-6] have now widened it to eight points.
"We didn't have 20 guys show up to play in the most important game of the year," Head Coach Graham Wise said. "We didn't have enough guys show up and it's a disappointing thing."
The game was close midway through the second period with the score tied 2-2. Greg Payne and Jason McDonough, who was playing his first game for the Rams, scored for Ryerson. Captain Andrew Kizito would put the Blues up before the end of the period on a power-play goal.
"I thought we played with them for the first period and a bit in the second, but we didn't have enough force," captain Marcus Booth said.
This was the first meeting between the two teams since Ryerson eliminated Toronto from the OUA playoffs last February, adding to the intensity from both sides.
"We told them that they would remember last year," Wise said. "There was awareness that they were going to be hungry for it, but we are also hungry to get some wins to make the playoffs so that equals itself out."
Both teams got into penalty trouble racking up eight minors each. Toronto would convert on two of five opportunities with the man-advantage, while Ryerson went one for six.
Graduating defenseman Troy Murray said that it was a, "scrappy game," and that not being able to convert on two-man advantages was a factor in the loss.
Saturday's matchup with Queen's doesn't give Ryerson much time to dwell on tonight's game. Another loss could likely end their playoff chances.
"I really hope that everyone goes home and sleeps on this one and learns from what we didn't do," Captain Marcus Booth said. "We got a lot of young guys on the team they gotta remember this feeling and move forward with it and try and build on it."
Playing at Toronto's Varsity Arena afforded the Rams an opportunity to play closer to home and they were greeted by a contingent of fans. About a third of the building was rooting for the blue and gold over the blue and white.
"We appreciate the people who came out. We wish we could have given them a better game and something to cheer about," Wise said.