Friday night flurries were not falling on the streets of Toronto, as for once the city’s citizens experienced mild winter weather. However, in the downtown hockey arena, formerly known as Maple Leaf Gardens, the same tameness could not be found.
Coming to all the way down to Toronto from Thunder Bay, the Lakehead University Thunderwolves failed to strike fear into the hearts of the Ryerson Rams, as they fell 3-2 in the first of a two games weekend series.
Ryerson, ranked eighth in the country were heavily favoured in this game, especially given the role they were on coming in. With the last four games as wins, Ryerson was expected to win. The Thunderwolves have not been terrible this season, but they are not nationally ranked and have failed to make much of a dent in the defences of higher-ranked OUA teams.
While they failed to win and never had the lead, the Thunderbworlves did put on a solid performance against Ryerson. Although the scoreline only tells a portion of the story, it is reflective of how close the game really was.
The two goals which got past Ryerson netminder Garret Forrest were deserved, coming as a result of precise passing in the offensive zone. The only note to make on the goals from Lakehead would be on the second one. Following a good cycle, Lakehead defender Cooper Leitch fluttered a wrist shot on the Ryerson net, which Ryerson netminder Garrett Forrest failed to handle as it squeaked through his equipment and scuttled across the line.
Forrest’s little bobble was the biggest mistake by either team in the game but was one that made the closing minutes a little tense.
“He made that one mistake, but he’s been stellar this season” Ryerson head coach Johnny Duco said in his post-game press conference. But given the error, and the second of back to back games coming tomorrow, he could give Troy Timpano the start between the pipes.
“We haven’t made that decision yet, both of them have been good, so you’ll have to wait and see.” It will be intriguing to see who starts tomorrow, but with the team is playing it really should not be a factor.
The win launches Ryerson even higher up in the standings and leaves the Thunderbworlves wondering what is going wrong this season.
Both teams face off again on Saturday night back at the Mattamy Athletic Centre, with puck drop set for 7:15
Cover Photo: Christian Bender