Rams clinch top spot in OUA East
NORTH BAY - The Ryerson Rams will finish atop the OUA East division for the fourth straight year. A 3-1 victory over the Nipissing Lakers Saturday afternoon clinched the regular season title and a first round playoff bye with one game remaining on their schedule.
The win gives the No. 2 Rams (14-1) 42 points this season and officially puts them out of the reach of the chasing Carleton Ravens (10-1-2) and Toronto Varsity Blues (10-2-2). The Ravens and Varsity Blues currently sit tied for second place with 32 points. Carleton has three games left while Toronto has two.
Playing their first game after a tough 2-1 loss against the Varsity Blues at Downsview Park earlier in the week, the Rams came out like they had something to prove. In the 7th minute, following some fantastic pressure, Jamie Baker (Aurora, Ont.) filtered a perfect pass to Adam Hemati (Vaughan, Ont.) right in front of the Lakers’ net. He tapped the ball between the pipes for his seventh tally of the year to make it 1-0.
Midway through the half, fifth-year Luka Lee (Toronto) sent a great ball to Raheem Rose (Toronto). He put his shot past Nipissing’s goalkeeper Grainger Munro and into the back of the net to double Ryerson’s lead.
The Rams continued to dominate following halftime but couldn’t find any extra insurance despite their chances.
Nipissing took advantage. Cody Vaillancourt netted his third goal of the year to make it 2-1 in the 66th minute but, that would be as close as the Lakers would get. Misel Klisara (Mississauga, Ont.) scored off a feed from Lee thirteen minutes later to stretch Ryerson’s advantage to 3-1 and secure the victory.
Rams’ goalkeeper Praveen Ahilan (Unionville, Ont.) made nine saves for his eighth win of the season while Munro surrendered three goals on fourteen shots.
Ryerson will finish off their 2016-17 regular season when they host Carleton at Downsview Park Saturday afternoon. In the first half of the season series, the Rams knocked off the Ravens 4-1 in Ottawa. Kick-off is scheduled for 3:15 p.m. after the Rams honour their seniors playing in their final regular season game.