U Sports Hockey: Badgers fall in crucial conference matchup

The Ryerson Rams picked up a very important win Saturday night over their west division rivals, the Brock Badgers.

In a game that neither team was able to establish themselves as a threatening force, Ryerson was able to edge out the Badgers 2-1, keeping themselves in a home playoff spot as the season nears its midpoint.

Mathew Santos again played a very important role for Ryerson, being the key attacking asset for the Rams, and chipping in a goal, which proved to be crucial. Garret Forrest, who was in net for the Rams bounced back from his previous performance, stopping 21 of 22 shots and being a confident presence in net throughout the game. Hayden McColl also was an important player for Ryerson, as he scored the winning goal to send the Rams into victory ecstasy.

Head coach Jonny Duco is infamous for never smiling, even after his teams win an important game, but this one was different. The rivalry that has stewed between the two teams bled throughout the game and created a playoff-like atmosphere on the dreary November evening. Speaking to the media after the game, he broke his non-smiling persona, giving the media a cackle of happiness and a brimming smile. That is just a small thing that shows how much this game meant to the team and the coach himself.

Brock’s Adam Berg made the game interesting, tying it up after Santos’ opener, but his goal was made consolation from the Rams winner later in the game.

“We were able to lock the game down in the third again, and I really liked that.” said coach Duco following his teams win, before continuing on to mention how this was the second game in which his team completed that feat and that he is feeling positive about the Rams in the second half of the season.

Brock will get another crack at the Rams on Thursday, as they begin the toughest travel week of their season. After Saturday’s game, they travelled back to St. Catherines, will travel to Toronto Thursday morning before heading back home to take on the University of Toronto Varsity Blues on Friday night. This week will be crucial to the Badger’s success in terms of where they will end up in the playoff picture at the end of the season.

Ryerson will get a chance to rest at home, as they prepare to take on the Badgers once again on Thursday night.

Cover Photo: Christian Bender

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