U Sports MHKY: Rams show no rust, shake off Badgers in 2020 opener

They devoured turkeys, munched on latkes and on Thursday night, they were back on the ice as the players of the Ryerson Rams and Brock Badgers dropped the puck on the 2020’s after a lengthy break.

One would expect some rust to have built up over the break, but the Rams were as shiny as ever as they defeated the Brock Badgers 3-1 in St.Catherines on Thursday night. Matthew Santos, who last played competitive hockey against the Canadian World Junior team was a central figure in the game, including scoring a hard slapshot that proved to be the game-winner. The goal was much like the goal he scored against the Canadian team, but this time it had a greater cumulative meaning.

Steven Harland, a defensman not known for his offensive ability opened the scoring for the visitors with his second of the sean, launching the offensive pursuit, although the rare goal from Harland and the wonder-goal from Santos, it was Matt Mistele who put the icing on the cake with Ryerson’s third goal of the night. With his goal and a prior assist, he tied himself for the most points in school history; the Mistele of Whitby ill hope to break through the record on Saturday in the Rams next game.

On the Brock side of the rink, head coach Marty Williamson spoke to reporters after the game and said “There was a lot of rust,” the exact opposite of Ryerson. The hosts got their lone goal from sophomore Jared Marino, but it was nowhere near enough to put any dent in the game.

Brock did get 32 shots, seven more than the Ryerson counterparts, but their finishing was not good enough. “We worked hard, but couldn’t finish- that’s the rust.” said coach Williamson. Garret Forest was exquisite in the crease for the Rams, prompting g many frantic and exciting moments for the Brock broadcasters; in the end, the Virginian had 31 saves.

Ayden MacDonald vs. Ryerson
Forrest makes one of his 31 saves for Ryerson (Mackenzie Gerry)

Another thing of note in the game was that veteran netminder Taylor Dupuis dressed for the first time since pre-season, where he started the homecoming game against the Queen’s Gaels. He did not feature in the game, but the steady hand of “Dupes” could be back in the Ryerson net as soon as Saturday.

The win puts Ryerson within two points of the Toronto Varsity Blues for the East Divison lead, and it’s those same Torontonians who will be the next challenger for the Brock Badgers. However, if the Badgers are to find a win in Toronto, they will need to play a lot better than they did tonight, especially against a Toronto team who ended 2019 with a 12 game win-streak. Ryerson will stay on the road before their classes resume, as they head to Waterloo to face the Laurier Golden Hawks for the first time this season.

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