TROIS-RIVIERES, Que. - The UQTR Patriotes’ Tommy Giroux scored twice to lift his team to a 6-3 victory over the Ryerson Rams men’s hockey team Friday night at Le Colisee.
The high-flying Patriotes kicked off 2017 in style with the win and delivered a crushing blow to the Rams by snapping their club best eight-game winning streak.
Patriotes’ goaltender Sebastien Auger was stellar in the victory and finished with 34 saves for his eighth win of the season. The Rams opted to go with Taylor Dupuis for the first game in the second semester as he also put together a solid performance with 28 saves in the loss.
With two of the OUA’s elite offensive juggernauts colliding there was little to no surprise regarding the five-goal opening frame. The Patriotes’ skill upfront was a concern for the Rams coming into Friday and it didn’t take long to witness the raw abilities of Giroux.
Giroux received a cross-ice pass from Guillaume Asselin before beating Dupuis up and over the glove just 22 seconds into the opening frame. Giroux’s 11th on the season extended his point streak to seven consecutive games.
The Rams took the early deficit in stride and worked back some much needed momentum in the period. Daniel Clairmont sharked in over the opposition's blue line and snuck past the defender on the near sidewall before finding Fab Ricci in the slot for a goal. Ricci cradled the pass and let a wrist shot go that beat Patriotes’ Auger high for the Rams’ first goal of 2017.
The Patriotes regained their one-goal lead mid-way in the period after a scramble in front gifted Mathieu Lemay at the side of the net. Lemay simply tapped home the loose puck in front and once again put the Patriotes on top.
The Rams responded once again but this time even quicker thanks to a Matt Nosella point shot. Nosella’s first on the year came just 31 seconds after the Lemay goal and once again evened the score.
The fifth and final first period goal came courtesy of Martin Lefebvre after another loose puck found its way to an eager stick. Lefebvre sent a shot past an out of position Dupuis and in for the go-ahead marker. Dupuis pleaded his case for goalie interference, but his efforts went to no avail as the goal stood and the Patriotes took a 3-2 lead into the second period.
A late penalty in the first by Patriotes’ Asselin delivered a glorious opportunity early in the second period for the Rams. Up a man and looking to tie, Jamie Lewis took matters into his own hands and found twine for his ninth goal on the year. The early equalizer evened the game at 3-3.
The Patriotes restored a one-goal lead for the fourth time in the game later in the period after an intense play. Dupuis charged out of the net after a free puck and went full Dominek Hasek on an in-coming Deven St-Hilaire. St-Helaire survived the open ice collision and slid the puck into the empty net to give the Patriotes a 4-3 lead after 40 minutes.
Giroux would go on to pot his second of the game mid-way through the third for his 12th of the season and his 6th goal in seven games. Gabriel Slight then wrapped up the scoring as the Patriotes edged the Rams by a final of 6-3.
The Rams will look to get back on track tomorrow night as they face yet another tough competitor in the Concordia Stingers. Puck drop is scheduled for a 7:30 p.m. start at the Ed Meager Arena and can be streamed live via OUAtv.