Photo by Christian Bender

Gryphons eliminate Rams in game 3 of quarter-final

By Cara Gilhula

TORONTO - The Ryerson Rams suffered a heartbreaking 4-3 loss to the Guelph Gryphons during the final game of the quarter-finals to finish their season on Sunday night.

During the fight to the finish, Ryerson goals were scored by Mathew Santos, Patrick Fellows and Matt Mistele.

“I thought we played our hearts out. Obviously during the second, there was a three-minute span where we kind of fell asleep and shot ourselves in the foot a little bit. But we came out in the third and gave it everything we got and I'm proud of the way they battled. It was a really tight fought series that could have gone either way and unfortunately we ended up on the wrong end,” says head coach Johnny Duco.

“I think this was a lesson for our young guys, that you can't take your foot off the gas, you got to play a complete 60-minutes in this league or you won't have success.”

Off the puck drop, it was obvious that the Rams were no strangers to Guelph’s quick and aggressive style of play due to another back and forth start.

Notably, the change of ice size from the smaller Mattamy rink to the Olympic sized rink at Guelph affected the movement on the ice for both teams, and they were tangled up for a majority of the period.

Although, with a basic tape to tape pass, Devon Paliani found Gregory DiTomaso along the boards. Hanging out in front, Mathew Santos awaited the quick pass to find the back of the net for the Rams by a pass from DiTomaso.

The Rams maintained their lead for the remainder of the period, however, they trailed the Gryphons in shots, 11-9.

During the second period, there was a scramble in front of the net and Gryphons Scott Simmonds managed to put the puck past the goal line to tie the game 1-1 at 4:17.

Frustrations were growing and the Rams constantly found themself in the penalty box. Unfortunately, the powerplay stuck for the Gryphons with another goal by Simmonds for a 2-1 advance at 7:32.

The Gryphons struck again with a goal by Ryan Valentini for a 3-1 lead at 9:50. Seconds later, Nick Boyer earned another for the Gryphons at 10:15 to advance 4-1.

The Rams were desperate for a goal, and Steven Harland made the push into the Gryphons zone and made a pass to Alex Basso. Basso fired and with the tip, Patrick Fellows scored his second of the playoffs at 11:36. The Rams continued to trail the Gryphons 4-2.

On the powerplay, Paliani passed to DiTomaso in the middle, who passed it over to Matt Mistele atop the circle. Mistele fired and went bardown to earn his sixth goal of the playoffs and minimize the Gryphons 4-3 lead at 15:29.

The Rams continued to trail the Gryphons in shots, 28-15.

Into the third the Rams had a number of chances and continued to fight for their lives. When the buzzer sounded the Rams were still down 4-3, which eliminate them from the playoffs.

“You get into these tight series and you know anything can happen. I thought we fought hard, and we had some moments where we seem to not play to our capabilities and then we would snap back out of it,” says Duco.

“Overall, if you look at it from September to now we were one of the best teams in the country for the whole year, and the top team in the OUA West for a six month period. I thought we did a really good job.”

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