This article first appeared on RyersonRams.ca on Jan. 15, 2014.
Ryerson Rams at. Western Mustangs
January 15, 2014
Thompson Arena, 7 p.m.
Ryerson: 14-5-0 Last Game: 5-1 W vs. Waterloo. 2013-14 Standings: 1st – OUA West (28 Points)
Western: 12-6-0 Last Game: 5-1 W vs. Lakehead. 2013-14 Standings: 3rd – OUA West (24 points)
It’s been a perfect start to 2014 for the Ryerson Rams men’s hockey team. Not only have they been a perfect 4-0 and are riding a five-game winning streak going into Wednesday night, but they are now No. 8 in the CIS. The Rams must try to hold on to the number one spot in the OUA West against a team that is chasing them and only four points behind, the Western Mustangs.
The Western Mustangs have been a tough team to beat on home ice this season, posting a record of 6-2 at Thompson Arena. After a tough loss to last place Laurier on Friday night, they rebounded the next day, knocking off CIS No. 9 Lakehead, 5-1. The last time the Mustangs faced off against the Rams was on Nov. 2, 2013 at the Mattamy Athletic Centre when they scored three unanswered goals in the third period to defeat Ryerson, 6-4.
Players to Watch:
Ryerson: Dustin Alcock
The fourth-year veteran on the team, Alcock (Hamilton, Ont.) has been quieter than normal this season offensively compared to last year. In 2012-13, Alcock led the team in scoring with 20 points, but with contributions from Jamie Wise (Stoufville, Ont.) and Domenic Alberga(Maple, Ont.) the offensive pressure has been eased off his back. He has five goals and five assists on the season, one of which came against Western the last time these two teams met. He hasn’t scored since Nov. 22, 2013 in Laurentian (a span of eight games), but look for him to contribute on Wednesday night.
Western: Daniel Erlich
Western has no shortage of players that can put the puck in the back of the net, and therefore it’s no surprise that they have three players with 20-plus points. One of those players is sophomore Daniel Erlich who has been dynamite in 2013-14, notching 29 points (8G, 21A) in 18 games. He currently sits in fourth place in points and after a goal and assist last Saturday against Lakehead, will be looking to continue to stay red-hot.
Between the Pipes:
Ryerson: Troy Passingham
Passingham was again strong last weekend against both Guelph and Waterloo, making 35 saves in goal against the Warriors on Saturday afternoon. The win pushed his 2014 record to 4-0 with a 1.23 GAA and even more impressive .962 save percentage.
Western: Josh Unice
The former Memorial Cup champion with the Windsor Spitfires, Unice, a fifth-year goaltender, has put up decent numbers in his last year of eligibility. He has a record of 8-4 with a 3.01 GAA and .916 save percentage. Last weekend against Lakehead, he recorded 25 saves for the win.