Men¿s hockey announces 2011-12 recruiting class

By Sports Information
Troy Passingham won the 2009-10 Memorial Cup national championship with the Windsor Spitfires.
Troy Passingham won the 2009-10 Memorial Cup national championship with the Windsor Spitfires.
Photo by www.windsorspitfires.com

TORONTO - The Ryerson Rams men's hockey team will have a new look in 2011-12 as head coach Graham Wise has overhauled his roster with the addition of 17 new players.

The team's largest recruiting class of the last six years is highlighted by seven players with major junior experience. This is also the first time in Wise's tenure with the Rams that the team has landed a recruit who was an overage player in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) the previous season.

"We are very happy with the recruiting class that has decided to attend Ryerson University," said Wise. "We feel it is a great step in having the Rams compete for wins game in and game out.  The mixture of returning and new players will create great excitement for the 2011-12 season."

2011-12 RYERSON MEN'S HOCKEY RECRUITING CLASS

TROY PASSINGHAM • G • 6'4"-220 • Mississauga, Ont. • Sarnia (OHL) 

Goaltender Troy Passingham split time as an overager last season with the OHL's Windsor Spitfires and Sarnia Sting. He won 35 games for the Spitfires in 2009-10, posting a .902 save percentage while helping current NHLers Taylor Hall and Cam Fowler capture Windsor's second straight Memorial Cup championship. Last year, Passingham posted a record of 18-15-3-2 with Windsor and Sarnia.

JASON CASSIDY • RW • 5'9"-170 • Toronto, Ont. • St. Thomas (AUS)

Forward Jason Cassidy played 90 games for the St. Thomas Tommies in Atlantic University Sport (AUS) over the past four years. An assistant captain with the Tommies, he led the team in scoring last season with 21 points (7G 14A) in 26 games. A three-time CIS academic all-Canadian, he is enrolled in Ryerson's Master of Professional Communication (MPC) program. Cassidy played three seasons in the OHL with the Brampton Battalion and the St. Michael's Majors before attending St. Thomas.

BRIAN BIRKHOFF • D • 6'2"-205 • Richmond Hill, Ont. • Orangeville (OJHL)

Defenceman Brian Birkhoff played 98 career games in the OHL with the Ottawa 67's and the Peterborough Petes. He started last season with the Gatineau Olympiques of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) before finishing the year with the Orangeville Flyers of the Ontario Junior Hockey League (OJHL). In 32 games with Orangeville, Birkhoff scored once and added 14 assists.

KELLY GEOFFREY • LW • 5'11"-185 • Newmarket, Ont. • St. Catharines (GOJHL)

Kelly Geoffrey played 225 career games in the OHL with the Erie Otters, Kingston Frontenacs and Mississauga St. Michael's Majors. He recorded 40 goals and 65 assists while in the OHL. Last season, Geoffrey played his overage year with the St. Catharines Falcons of the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League (GOJHL) where he had 35 points (14G 21A) in 24 games .

DAVID SEARLE • D • 6'5"-225 • Peterborough, Ont. • Guelph (OHL)

Defenceman David Searle spent the past two seasons with the Guelph Storm of the OHL. Last year, he appeared in 33 games recording one goal and four assists with a plus-6 rating. Searle was selected in the second round of the OHL Priority Selection in 2008 after leading the Peterborough Midget AAA Petes to the Ontario Minor Hockey Association (OMHA) gold medal.

JASON KELLY • C • 5'8"-175 • Toronto, Ont. • Rouyn-Noranda (QMJHL)

Forward Jason Kelly played last season with the QMJHL's Rouyn-Noranda Huskies, where he finished third in team scoring with 29 points (11G 18A) in 59 games. Prior to joining the Huskies, Kelly spent two seasons with the North York Rangers of the OJHL. In 82 games with the Rangers he tallied 80 points (37G 43A).

STEVE GLEESON • G • 6'3"-200 • Toronto, Ont. • Moncton (QMJHL)

Goaltender Steve Gleeson appeared in 28 games last season for the Moncton Wildcats of the QMJHL. He compiled a record 13-8-4 for the Wildcats, while posting a goals against average of 3.48 and a save percentage of .887.

MITCHELL GALLANT • RW • 6'1"-195 • Nepean, Ont. • Pembroke (CCHL)

Forward Mitchell Gallant tallied 50 points (26G 24A) in 60 regular season games with the Pembroke Lumber Kings of the Central Canada Hockey League (CCHL) last year. He also added 14 points (5G 9A) in 14 playoff games, while helping lead the Lumber Kings to the RBC Cup National Junior A Championship. 

MARK CORBETT • D • 6'2"-205 • Burlington, Ont. • Oakville (OJHL)

Mark Corbett played in 46 games last year with the Oakville Blades of the OJHL, collecting 16 points (4G 12A). Corbett also added five points (1G 4A) in 22 playoff games as he helped the Blades to their second straight OJHL league final.

DEAN WILLMOTT • D • 6'3"-210 • Etobicoke, Ont. • Huntsville (OJHL)

Defenceman Dean Willmott played three seasons in the OJHL with the Seguin Bruins and Hunstville Otters. Last year he was Huntsville's top scoring blueliner with 33 points (14G 19A) in 50 games. He was also sixth overall in team scoring and fourth in goals scored.

MARK DIFRUSCIO • LW • 6'0"-195 • Niagara on the Lake, Ont. • Niagara Falls (GOJHL)

Forward Mark DiFruscio scored 68 points (28G 40A) in 50 games last season with the Niagara Falls Canucks of the GOJHL. He added another 14 points (7G 7A) in 15 playoff games as the Canucks advanced to the Sutherland Cup final.

DAVID GRANT • C • 6'1"-190 • Owen Sound, Ont. • Niagara Falls (GOJHL)

Forward David Grant finished second in team scoring and fourth in the league with 90 points (22G 68A) in 47 regular season games with the GOJHL's Niagara Falls Canucks last year. He led the team in playoff scoring and was second in the league with 26 points (13G 13A) in 15 games.

LESLIE LAVICTOIRE • D • 5'11"-180 • Kirkland Lake, Ont. • Cornwall (CCHL)

Defenceman Leslie Lavictoire played four seasons with the Cornwall Colts of the CCHL. In 175 career games with the Colts, he recorded 50 points (13G 37A).

MATT McCANN • RW • 5'11"-195 • Newmarket, Ont. • Norwich (ECAC)

Forward Matt McCann has transferred to Ryerson after two seasons at Norwich University. McCann will not be eligible to play for the Rams until January of 2012.

RYAN MOORE • D • 5'9"-180 • Burlington, Ont. • St. Catharines (GOJHL)

Defenceman Ryan Moore played 38 regular season games last year with the GOJHL's St. Catherines Falcons. Moore recorded 15 points (2G 13A) before adding three assists in nine playoff games.

STEVE TAYLOR • C • 5'8"-175 • Sudbury, Ont. • Lindsay (OJHL)

Forward Steve Taylor recorded 18 points (5G 13A) in 21 games last year for the Lindsay Muskies of the OJHL. He also had stints with the OJHL's Vaughan Vipers and Collingwood Blues as well as the Humboldt Broncos of the Saskatchewan junior league.

MORGAN McNEILL • D • 6'0"-180 • Days Corner, P.E.I. • Fort Frances (SIJHL)

Defenceman Morgan McNeill played three seasons in the Superior International Junior Hockey League (SIJHL) with the Schreiber Diesels and the Fort Frances Lakers. Last year with the Lakers, McNeill recorded 30 points (4G 26A) in 53 games.

The Rams will open their pre-season schedule September 16 when they visit the UOIT Ridgebacks. Ryerson opens the OUA regular season October 8 against the visiting RMC Paladins at George Bell Arena.

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