This article first appeared on RyersonRams.ca on Jan. 29, 2014.
Ryerson Rams vs. Brock Badgers
January 30, 2014
Mattamy Athletic Centre at the Gardens, 7:30 p.m.
Ryerson: 15-8-0 Last Game: 3-0 L at Waterloo. 2013-14 Standings: 3rd – OUA West (30 Points)
Brock: 11-9-3 Last Game: 5-3 W at Toronto. 2013-14 Standings: 6th – OUA West (25 points)
If the playoffs were to start on Thursday night, this would be the matchup that OUA hockey fans would be seeing. Despite this, it’s also a playoff picture that has a lot of finalizing left to do. With five games remaining in the regular season, the Ryerson Rams will start their five-game home stand before the playoffs and look to improve their playoff seed in the process. Currently sitting in third place, two points behind first place Western, Ryerson’s games from here on out will prove to be huge in terms of playoff positioning. It will be a rocking atmosphere on Mattamy Home Ice on Thursday as well with hockey fans of all ages packing the seats for Student Night.
Brock has one of the best records in the OUA West over the course of their last 10 games at 6-3-1. They will be riding a two-game winning streak into Thursday night after a 5-3 win against Toronto last weekend which helped them leapfrog the Varsity Blues for sixth place in the standings. Brock’s defence will have to step up if they will look to slow down Ryerson’s high-flying offensive attack. So far this season, Badger goaltenders have had to make 771 saves, which is fourth most in the CIS.
Players to Watch:
Ryerson: Lucas Froese
The former 2009 Telus Cup champion and hard working left winger has put up good numbers for the Rams in his rookie season. In 19 games, he has potted 13 points (5G, 8A) including three points to date in 2014. Froese (Grunthal, Man.) will be relied on down the stretch to provide secondary scoring for the likes of Wise, Alberga and Fine.
Brock: Matt Abercrombie
If you’re looking for offence, Brock has turned to Abercrombie in 2013-14. The veteran forward has put forward 26 points in 23 games so far this season, including four points against Toronto last weekend. Brock will be looking for a spark plug entering the home stretch before playoffs and Abercrombie is proving he is the man for the job.
Between the Pipes:
Ryerson: Troy Passingham
After starting out January with four straight wins, Passingham and the rest of the Ryerson squad have hit a bit of a cold streak in the past four games, winning only once. The Passingham from earlier in the month will be needed Thursday night, as he starts his 12th game of the season.
Brock: Real Cormier
Cormier came into last weekend’s game against Toronto in relief of starter Adrian Volpe and allowed three goals on 39 shots to earn his first career OUA win in his first ever OUA appearance. After the 36 save performance, look for the Badgers to go back to Cormier on Thursday against Ryerson.