TORONTO — Too little, too late, was the comeback for the Ryerson Rams on Thursday night at the Mattamy Athletic Centre at the Gardens, falling to the Brock Badgers, 5-4.
In front of 2,085 fans on Student Night, the crowd was quieted early as Sammy Banga sniped one blocker side on Rams starting goaltender Troy Passingham (Mississauga, Ont.).
Passingham, who was making his 10th straight start in goal for the Rams, was beat just seconds later after a nice passing play and Jeff MacPherson put home his first goal of the season.
An Andrew Buck roughing penalty at the end of the first period stretched into the start of the second and Brock leading scorer Matt Abercrombie banged home a rebound to make it 3-0.
“I don’t even know where we were in the first period,” Graham Wise, head coach of the team said post-game.
“We put ourselves in a hole right from the get go. When you do that you’re fighting, you’re climbing a ladder, it’s tough.”
Ryerson would battle back and finally get on the board at 4:16 of the second with Mitch Gallant (Charlottetown, PEI) deflecting home his eight goal of the season on the powerplay to cut the deficit to two.
Banga would reply three minutes later with a highlight reel goal for his second of the game and Brock would restore the three goal lead.
Something clicked after that goal as Ryerson started to mount a comeback.
Goals by Jamie Wise (Stoufville, Ont.), Dominic Alberga (Maple, Ont.) and Michael Fine (Toronto) would put the Rams within one, late in the third period.
With just over a minute left, and with the net empty, Ryerson poured it on, but Brock starting goaltender Real Cormier, making only his second appearance of the year, robbed Alberga on a wrap around attempt to secure the Badgers victory.
“Hands down to him, he played a great game,” Jamie Wise said.
“We’ve got to find a way to beat him a couple more times but he played well and we’re going to keep going here.”
Cormier ended the game by making 35 saves for his second win in as many games. Passingham made 23 saves in the loss.
Ryerson failed to gain any ground in the chase for first place and still sit in third place in the OUA West standings, two points behind first place Western. With a York loss against Laurier, Brock jumped into fifth place with 27 points.
Ryerson is back at it on Saturday afternoon for their second game of their five game home stand. Face-off against the York Lions is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. and the head coach says they need a better start if they’re looking to be successful.
“We’ve got York Saturday so we’re digging ourselves a bit of hole here, we’ve got to put some points up on the board.”