Photo by Hung Le

Rams face York in first round playoff matchup

By Ryan Bacic

TORONTO – Coming off the momentum provided by a dominant conclusion to the 2017-18 regular season, the Ryerson Rams will be squaring off against a familiar foe in the first round of the Critelli Cup playoffs on Wednesday; the York Lions.

Wednesday night’s contest will mark the second time that these two cross-town rivals have met in the first round of the playoffs, with the most recent instance being last season in which the Rams handed York a massive 78-52 loss.

However, in comparison to last year, the Toronto-based teams are two very different animals.

The Rams and Lions met on two occasions in this year’s regular season, with the Lions coming away with a victory in both contests.  These instances marked the first time that the Lions have overtaken the Rams since the 2013-2014 regular season.

Additionally, and by comparison, the Lions had a more successful 2018 portion of their season than did the Rams.  York was able to pull together an above .500 finish in the last 13 games of the regular season, acquiring a 7-6 record, while the Rams had gone 5-8.  

However, the Rams are entering into the postseason on a high-note, coming off a three-game winning streak that saw them take down the likes of Queen’s, Nipissing, and Laurentian.  By contrast, the Lions are riding the coattails of a three-game losing streak, which saw them fall to the likes of Toronto, Carleton and Ottawa.

The playoffs have additionally been uncharted territory for the Lions in recent history.  With the exception of the previous season, York has failed to make the playoffs for a number of years, limiting the degree of playoff experience accumulated by the entirety of their young roster.  By contrast, the Rams have become well accustomed to the level of tenacity required to be successful within the playoffs.

As such, with the backdrop of differing team dynamisms in recent months, and contrasting levels of playoff experience, all bundled up by a desire for revenge from a surging cross-town rival, should make this playoff match-up one for the ages.

Tip-off is scheduled for 6:00 pm at the Mattamy Athletic Centre on Wednesday, February 21. Ryerson students wearing blue & gold gear will receive a free slice of pizza! Get to the MAC early and show York just how loud the Coca-Cola Court can get.

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