Rams suffer shootout loss to Ottawa
OTTAWA – In what can easily be billed as the most intense game of the season thus far, the Rams efforts simply weren’t enough as they lost 4-3 to the hosting University of Ottawa Gee-Gees in a shootout on Friday night.
As was to be expected from the OUA leaders in shots per game, the Gee-Gees opened up the first period with an offensive flurry to try and keep the Rams at bay. Throughout the first twenty minutes of play, the Gee-Gees outshot the Rams 22-18, and occupied the Ryerson zone for long stretches of the first twenty minutes. Unfortunately for the home team, however, their defensive efforts, much like in previous contests, were not at the same level as their offensive intensity. The Rams would capitalize upon this fact throughout the game.
In fact, it would be the visiting squad from Ryerson that would open up the scoring in the first. Tapping in a rebound off of an initial Matt Mistele (Whitby, Ont.) shot attempt, forward John Carpino (Maple, Ont.) put the Rams up 1-0 six minutes into the first.
Unfortunately for the Rams, however, at least one of the many shot attempts taken by the Gee-Gees would find the twine of goalkeeper Taylor Dupuis’ (New Liskeard, Ont.) net. Three minutes after the goal by Carpino, Ottawa forward Connor Sills (Thundery Bay, Ont.) tucked away a backhand from just outside the blue ice to tie up the game at 1-1.
In typical Rams fashion, however, they were not about to go into the locker room after the first period tied-up. With less than two minutes left to play in the period, Rams captain Alex Basso (Toronto, Ont.) rocketed in his fourth goal of the season to give the Rams a 2-1 lead heading into the first intermission.
As play continued in the second period, it seemed as though the Rams defensive line had not come out prepared to play. Yet again, the Gee-Gees dominated the pace of offensive play throughout the period, outshooting the Rams 18-15 during the second. Additionally, the two goals acquired by Ottawa during the period, provided by Marc Beckstead (Ottawa, Ont.) and Kevin Domingue (Laval, Que.) were virtually uncontested defensively. Just as seemed that the home team would be able to head into the final period up 3-2, Rams freshman forward Steven Harland (Toronto, Ont.) tucked in a rebound off of a Basso shot attempt, to tie the game up at 3-3 heading into the final twenty minutes.
With the tension of a tied-up scoreboard hanging over the heads of both teams, the third period turned into a rather ugly one, riddled with elements of unsportsmanlike conduct. While the two teams remained scoreless at the end of the period, the Rams dominated the ice offensively, outshooting the home team 14-7, and swarming them with fast-paced zone rushes and quick passing. Unfortunately for the Rams, however, they were given a scare during the period, as key forward Marcus Hinds (Toronto, Ont.) was checked from behind, leaving sprawled on the ice for several minutes. Thankful for Ryerson, Hinds was able to make a recovery and play through the rest of the game.
With the score still tied at 3-3, the two teams required overtime to settle the conflict. The extra five minutes, however, felt like as though they were the longest five-minutes of the entire game. In the opening minutes of the period, all-star Matt Mistele (Whitby, Ont.) was sent to the penalty box for slashing, leaving Ottawa with the man advantage. To make matters even worse for the Rams, Alex Leader (Aurora, Ont.) was taken off of the ice after taking a puck to the face, and captain Alex Basso was ejected following a questionable check upon a Gee-Gees forward. Thankfully, in spite of that occurring during the five minutes of overtime, nothing had materialized in the form of a goal for Ottawa.
As a result, a shootout was required to settle this intense contest. Unfortunately, this particular shootout did not go the way of recent shootouts for the Rams, as they fell to the Gee-Gees following two goals by Connor Sills (Thunder Bay, Ont.) and Kevin Domingue (Laval, Que.). The Rams concluded the evening with a 4-3 loss, which this reporter imagines, left a rather bitter taste in the mouths of the Ryerson bench.
The Rams will be back in action Saturday night at 7:00 pm, as they take on the Carleton Ravens across town, at the Carleton Ravens Ice House. Fans will be able to catch all the action live on OUA.tv, and by following the Ryerson Rams on twitter @ryersonrams.