Rams win offensive thriller over Brock
ST. CATHARINES, Ont. - Many believe that Saturday nights are often home to the world's most exciting hockey games, but the Ryerson Rams and Brock Badgers’ men’s hockey clubs proved that Wednesday mornings can even lead to the high scoring affairs that hockey fans dream about. The unusual 11:25 a.m. start time had both squads feeling uncomfortable, and led to a staggering amount of offensive firepower for a combined 14 goals in an 8-6 Rams win at the Meridian Centre in Niagara.
Through three games this season the Rams stand alone atop the OUA’s best in scoring. At this point in time last season, the Rams had managed to muster up just six goals through the first three games, but turn the page to 2016-17 and the Rams now sit comfortably atop the OUA with 18 GF and a whopping 6.0 GPG.
Goaltending was a mere side-note in this one, but still worth noting that Rams goalie Charlie Graham suited up between the pipes for his third consecutive start. Thanks to the Rams’ offensive tear, Graham moved to a perfect 3-0 on the year but took a blow statistically with the six allowed goals.
As a whole, the Rams now move to a spotless 3-0 start this season, which marks the first time in Ryerson men’s hockey history that they’ve accomplish this feat.
The opening twenty minutes finished with a head-spinning seven first period goals. The Rams’ Marcus Hinds opened up the scoring less than five minutes into the frame with his first of the 2016-17 season. Hinds went on to contribute with a couple of assists as well and finished the game with three points.
Less than four minutes later, Rams’ captain Michael Fine received a pass from Hinds in front and wristed home his second of the year.
The Rams appeared to have quite the stranglehold over the Badgers with their early two-goal lead, but the Badgers never quit despite being in the hole. Badgers’ freshman Sammy Banga responded rather quickly with his first of two on the night. Just 52 seconds after the Fine goal, Banga beat Graham to cut the lead to one and then tied the game at two just three minutes later with his second.
Three minutes after the Badgers equalizer, Rams’ freshman defenceman Austin Kosack sent an unassisted bullet from the point past Beukeboom. Kosack’s first goal as a Ram restored Ryerson's one goal lead late in the first.
The Rams deserved all the credit for how the chaotic first period started, but the Badgers sure deserved the credit for how it finished. Adam Lloyd and Matt Macleod each beat Graham in the final two minutes and gave the Badgers a 4-3 lead through twenty minutes.
In games where the defence is lacking and the goals keep on coming, it’s important to take things a period at a time, and that’s exactly what the Rams did in the second frame. A scoreless ten minutes to start the second turned into two Rams goals in less than five minutes. Aaron Armstrong scored his first of three on the night at 10:35 in the second and paved the way for Josh Sterk’s go ahead goal at 15:46.
The Rams allowed yet another late period momentum zapper after Badgers’ Brody Silk finished on a gorgeous tic-tac-toe play in front. The Silk marker deadlocked the game at fives en route for the third.
The third then proved to be Aaron Armstrong’s for the taking, as he potted two shorthanded goals less than 34 seconds apart and gave the Rams their first two goal lead since the first.
Both the Rams and the Badgers went on to score later in the period, but the two short-handed goals by Armstrong proved to be the difference as the Rams held on for an 8-6 victory over the Badgers.
The Rams return home to the Mattamy Athletic Centre on Thursday, October 20 against the Lakehead Thunderwolves, where they will look to maintain their perfect record and improve to 4-0. The game will be streamed live to OUA.tv courtesy of Rams live.