U Sports Hockey: Welcome to the Ramsies

That was not the plan.

The Ryerson Rams opened their OUA regular season campaign on Thursday night falling at the hands of the number eight ranked Guelph Gryphons. With the dominant win, the Gryphons will now pass the Rams in the U Sports national power rankings.

So what were the memorable moments and questions that happened at the Mattamy Athletic Centre? Oh, you don’t know? Fear not, The Ramsies are here!

Welcome back Matt Mistele:

Superstar forward matt Mistele was back in the rams lineup for their season opener. That’s a good thing for Ryerson. That’s all, let’s move on.

To talk about ‘Tendys

Throughout last year and the preseason it appeared that Taylor Dupuis was destined for the starting position. That was not the case in this game, as Troy Timpano found himself in the
Ram’s crease. Timpano is a good netminder himself, posting a .891 save percentage in his first season of college action. It was an interesting decision and not one that looked too hot in the first period. Although after allowing the first goal, Timpano did find his stride. The goaltending situation will be an interesting one to monitor throughout the season.

Slow Start:

On the first shot of the game, the Rams found themselves down 1-0. It was not long until that became two, and before the period ended it was three. The Rams did not jump out of the gate. That has been a common theme, there is usually something that needs to happen to fire the team-up.

Effort:

Guelph’s first goal was some good hockey. Their second was an annoying type of goal, one that no defence can explain- as the forwards just poked at the puck until it crossed the goal line. The third goal, however, was a perfect example of how any player should approach a scoring opportunity.

Connor Bramwell had his initial shot stopped, but the second effort got him what he was looking for- giving his team a 3-0. By this point in their careers, these players know how to compete, but seeing players cash in on second chances. I give a tip of the ol’ cap to Bramwell on this one.

I think there was a talk:

The rams looked much better on the defensive side of the puck in the second period. They almost went the whole frame without conceding. The defence looked much calmer, especially when transitioning the puck to the forwards. In the first, where there were many arid passes on the breakout, the Rams defence tightened it up and hit most of their targets.

I bet that there was a very passionate coaching talk following the disastrous first period. That talk turned the tables for the Rams, however, it was not enough to ignite their stagnant offence.

Tik Tok:

Ryerson FINALLY got on the scoreboard four minutes into the third period. The goal came from a well-worked play that was finished off my David Miller. As we can see in the video, the goal was so picturesque one could dance to the sound of the passes. The cliche on a broadcast call would be “tic tac toe, into the net she goes!” And that call would fit this play perfectly.

Another thing that we can draw from this video is the ideal position of miller on the offensive rush. Miller is clearly intending to receive the pass, and he staggered his path to be ahead of the pass. This allows him to skate onto the puck, using his momentum to force the puck in, rather than relying on a shot.

Fightin’ until the end:

Down 5-1, with no hopes of victory, the Ryerson boys got the fans on their feet one more time with few seconds lefts in the game. The spirit they showed was good, but it was also an example of how desperate they were. Teams play well when they are desperate, and the Rams are no exclusion. If Ryerson can find the desperation mentality from the puck drop, they will have guaranteed success.

Starting the season late:

Ryerson was one of the few teams in the OUA who had yet to drop the puck for the 2019-20 OUA season. The gryphons played a strong u of t team last weekend, so they were prepared and already up to speed. Whereas, the Rams had yet to find their regular season footing.

In speaking to 49 after the game, both head coach John Duco and forward Matt Santos promptly dismissed any thoughts of a later start holding them back. Whether it was a later start or simply a good gryphons team, the scheduling was the only clear difference between the two teams.

All gelled up:

Hair products are a common object found in sports locker rooms, and the Rams are no different. Unlike in some sports where players can dress up their hair, hockey players obviously can’t due to their helmets. However, that does not stop the coaches. 49 asked Duco about his hair after the game, and he said “ I use a bit of gel” but with one look, that seems like a pretty big “bit!” Either way, good on the coach for putting his best hair out there.

U of T on Saturday:

The biggest game of the year, a matchup circled on the schedule, Ryerson welcomes the U of T Varsity Blues to the MAC on Saturday night. U of T is already three games into their OUA campaign and opened up the season with a pair of wins at home. One of those wins, as recapped by 49 was against Guelph, the team which just dismembered the Rams. “They’re a good team, a strong and organized team,” Duco said, but he is confident that his team can match the style and control the game on home ice.

From the fans:

A special shoutout to first year Sport Media student Alyssa Morrsion who created a pretty sick promotional poster for the Rams, and even made today’s cover photo.

That is all for the first edition of the Ramsies!

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