Photo by Christian Bender

New year begins with home-and-away doubleheader

By Andrea Elliott

TORONTO - The No. 6 nationally ranked Ryerson Rams men's hockey team opens 2019 with a road trip to St. Catharines to take on the Brock Badgers on January 4th before returning home to host the Guelph Gryphons on Saturday evening.

The Rams had a successful first half of the season, posting a 12-3-1 record to sit atop the OUA West division standings. The first matchup of 2019 pits the first place Rams against the second place Brock Badgers. Brock enters Friday's contest with a 12-5-0 record - including a victory over Ryerson to close the first half of the season.

Brock's strength is their goaltending as Logan Thompson leads the OUA with 11 wins and sits fourth with a 0.931 save percentage. Thompson stopped 29 of 30 shots the Rams fired his way in December. 

Friday's game will be the third matchup between the Rams and Badgers, with Ryerson taking a 4-3 win at the beginning of November. 

Following the tilt for first place on Friday night, the Rams will return home to host the Guelph Gryphons on Saturday night. Ryerson hasn't seen Guelph since October 11th when the Rams earned a 4-3 win on the road. With a 6-8-2 record, Guelph likely under-performed in the first half of the season and will be looking to start the new year off strong.

The Gryphons lead the league in shots per game, so the Rams defence will need to be on their toes. Guelph's offence is relatively well-balanced, with Scott Simmonds and Cody Thompson sharing the team-lead with 13 points so far.

Ryerson will be looking to snap a two-game losing skid, their longest of the season, when they open play on Friday night. The Rams will also have new addition Connor Schlichting in the lineup after adding the defenceman to their roster in December.

Friday's game against Brock from St. Catharines starts at 7:15 p.m. while the puck drops on Saturday's home game against Guelph at 7:15 p.m. Both games will be available live on OUA.tv

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