Photo by Alex D'Addese

Rams prepare for playoffs against Varsity Blues

By Cara Gilhula

TORONTO - The Ryerson Rams finished the regular season as the OUA West champions, and will begin their road to playoffs against the Toronto Varsity Blues on Thursday, February 14th at the Mattamy Athletic Centre at 7:15 p.m. Game two is scheduled for Saturday night across town at the Varsity Arena for a 7:00 p.m. start. If necessary, game three will commence at the Mattamy Home Ice on Sunday at 7:15 p.m.

The Battle of the Six rivalry is alive and well. As the number one team in the OUA West with 43 points, the Rams will play the eighth place team, the Toronto Varsity Blues. The Varsity Blues just made playoffs with 26 points. Notably, Lakehead and Waterloo did not clinch playoffs with 25 points.

The Rams were 20-5-3 during the regular season. Although, two of those losses were dealt by the Varsity Blues. In November, the Rams lost 5-4, and later in early February, the Rams lost 5-4 in a shootout. This goes to show that the Rams will have some work to do in order to make it to the next round.

The Rams lead the OUA with 133 goals, and the next highest scoring team with 117 is Ottawa. The Rams will require a high-scoring game to push past the Varsity Blues. The earlier the Rams lead, the less likely they are to get trapped in penalties and their own errors, which have impacted them in the past. Overall, the Rams will need confidence throughout the entirety of the round, knowing that the Blues have the capability to take them down.

Fortunately, the Rams have consistently had the top OUA leaders repping their lines the entire season. Truly, the Rams have the talent to make it past the Varsity Blues, who happen to not have any individual players on the leaderboard.

The playoff push will begin with Ryerson’s Taylor Dupuis, who has a win percentage of .824. The offensive attack will be supported by Matt Mistele who is ranked first in the OUA with 50 points, 30 assists, 20 goals, and fifth with seven power-play goals. Alex Basso is tied with Mistele with 30 assists. By their side will be Mathew Santos, who has earned first in the OUA with 23 goals, second with 43 points, and third for nine power-play goals.

Ryerson also has a strong record at home (8-6) and away (12-2) games. This proves that the Rams will need some support from fans at home, but should remain confident and manage while they are on the road.

In the 2017-2018 season last year, the Rams beat the Western Mustangs in the first round of playoffs before falling to the York Lions in the OUA quarter-finals. This year the Rams are looking for redemption and have their sights set on the Queen’s Cup.

Playoffs begin on February 14th at Mattamy Home Ice and will continue on February 16th at Varsity Arena. If needed the matchup will return to the Mattamy for game three on Sunday evening. For live updates, follow us on Twitter and tune in to OUA.tv.

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