Tough loss for Rams in game one of quarter-finals
TORONTO - The Ryerson Rams fell 4-1 to the Guelph Gryphons during game one of the quarter-finals on Thursday night at the Mattamy Home Ice.
Steven Harland was the lonely goal scorer for the Rams late in the third period.
The Rams opened the first period in the Gryphons zone, controlling the play, and building an effective momentum that they carried throughout the period. They were moving the puck well and capitalizing on each opportunity. Unfortunately, the match up was strong, and this lead the Rams to trail the Gryphons 1-0 after a goal by Mikkel Aagaard at 17:32.
The Rams finished the first period with nine shots to the Gryphons 11.
“I’m going to try and get the boys fired up, give us some energy, throw some body checks, forecheck hard, and try to make some opportunities happen. That’s kind of how I’ve been playing all season and I gotta step it up,” said senior forward Vince Figliomeni in regards to playoffs.
Without a consistent full line due to penalties, the Rams were getting caught in their end, and the Gryphons were all over the Rams and pressing them back in to their zone every chance they got. As a result, the Rams were unable to find the back of the net, and the second period remained scoreless.
The Gryphons earned 22 shots and the Rams had 15.
Early in the third period, at 48 seconds, Gryphons Todd Winder put one away on their power play to advance 2-0 over the Rams.
The Rams were struggling to make a come back and with no luck on the bounce, they were quickly losing their sense of urgency. Vince Figliomeni tried to maintain an offensive forecheck to push the Rams to their full potential.
“I think we just have to keep getting pucks down low. That's where we generate offence at our best. Obviously we have to bear down on our chances. I felt that we had some good opportunities today, but we couldn’t get them to go to the back of the net. So if we keep doing what we’re doing and go down low a little more, they’ll come,” says Figliomeni.
With four minutes left in the third, Patrick Fellows put the puck to Steven Harland and he went post and in to put the Rams on the board at 2-1.
Gryphons Ryan Valentini came back to score shortly after to put the Gryphons up again 3-1.
Aagaard earned his second of the game for an empty net goal with five seconds to spare. The final score was 4-1.
“I feel that we got out worked tonight… The Gryphons played us tonight, they skated and played well. They didn’t sit back and trap like Toronto did, so for us it’s about creating chances and getting traffic at the net,” says head coach Johnny Duco.
“We are going to see where we can make some improvements, but we knew we weren’t going to make the whole playoffs undefeated, so it’s a little adversity for us. We have to go in there Saturday and have our best game of the year.”
Game two of the quarter-finals will take place Saturday night at Gryphon Centre Arena. Puck drop will be at 7:30 p.m.