Photo by Christian Bender

Santos guides Rams over Badgers

By Cara Gilhula

TORONTO - The Ryerson Rams welcomed the Brock Badgers on Thursday evening and earned a 4-3 win due to a late goal from Mathew Santos (Toronto, Ont.).

The first period got off to a slow start. The Rams came out strong against the Badgers, but the Rams knew they had a tough night ahead. Brock has always been tough competition for the Rams, and tonight was no different.

The Badgers struck first on the powerplay to earn the 1-0 lead. Rams goalie Taylor Dupuis (New Liskeard, Ont.) came close to the save, except the puck trickled through for Brandon O’Quinn (Trenton, Ont.).

Fortunately, on a powerplay of their own, the Rams were deep in the Badgers' zone and Matt Mistele (Whitby, Ont.) was in the corner to help control the play. After a pass to Hayden McCool (Whitby, Ont.) there was a slight scramble in front of the net and the bouncing puck made its way to Santos. Santos scooped the puck, and made his way outside of the cluster of players to create distance from the Badgers. Surprisingly, Santos made a quick turn and fired the puck into the back of the Badgers net to make the score even at 1-1. This marked Santos’ eighth goal of the season during his eighth game.

The first period ended with 11 shots for Ryerson and seven for Brock.

The Rams opened up the second period with strong defense from Dupuis. He continued to control his crease and ensured that he would keep the Badgers from scoring at all costs. The Rams moved swiftly on the ice, and filled the gaps where they needed to support their transitions from defense to offense.

At 6:51 the Rams were on another power play, and came out successful once again.

Devon Paliani (LaSalle, Ont.) moved the puck to Gregory DiTomaso (Etobicoke, Ont). DiTomaso moved back to the Rams blue line to reset the play to find John Carpino (Maple, Ont.) at centre ice. Carpino swiftly skated up the ice past the Badgers defense and put it under the bar to give the Rams the 2-1 lead.

“I just wanted to play simple tonight. So, I wanted to get the puck wide and get to the net, and hope it went in to give us the lead,” says Carpino.

Unfortunately, the Rams lead did not last long. Half way through the second period, there was a turnover in the Rams zone, and the puck came out in front of Brody Silk (Iroquois Falls, Ont.). Silk made the chip over Dupuis’ shoulder to tie the game again at 2-2.

After two back to back no-goal calls against the Badgers, the Rams were lucky to still be in the game and tied at two at the end of the second period.

The first line came out hard and fast to start the third for the Rams. Just 0:21 seconds in, Jared Walsh (Toronto, Ont.) was deep in the Badgers corner and gave the puck to Mistele behind the net. Mistele tried to push the puck past the goalie but the puck bounced out for Hayden McCool to save the day. McCool touched the puck and scored during the midst of chaos in front of the net to give the Rams the 3-2 lead. This was McCool’s sixth goal of the season.

Not long after, Badgers’ Silk got past the Rams defense again to tie the game 3-3.  

The Rams and Badgers battled hard throughout the remainder of the third, until Santos was the one to finish the Badgers off with a late goal from a quick draw back from McCool. As a result of this being his second goal of the game and his ninth of the season, Santos moved to the top of the OUA leaderboard.

The Rams won 4-3 to earn their sixth win of the season. Almost a month into the regular season, the Rams have noticed progression and have been able to learn from their mistakes, which has helped develop their game strategy.

“As a team we had a good night. It was a fast pace game. We needed to keep the gas on the pedal and keep playing hard because they were a good team. We had a lot of shots, and sometimes needed to clean it up a little bit, but overall we played well,” says Carpino.

The Rams have a quick turn around tomorrow as they head uptown to visit Toronto rivals, the York Lions.

“We need to take into consideration that York has a bigger ice surface so we will need to get some energy and go in like we can. I have a great line with McCool and Mistele, and they open the line for me, so I accompany that by shooting the puck, and take advantage of the opportunity I have. The other lines are strong in their own way too, so we just have to go out there and play the game we play tomorrow,” says Santos.

The game against York will start at 7:00 p.m. For live updates, follow us on Twitter.

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