Ryerson Rams at. Laurier Golden Hawks
January 3, 2014
Sun Life Financial Arena, 7:30 p.m.
Ryerson: 10-5-0 Last Game: 8-3 W vs. Concordia. 2013-14 Standings: T 3rd – OUA West
Laurier: 5-7-1 Last Game: 7-6 W vs. RMC. 2013-14 Standings: 10th – OUA West
It may be a new year, but the Ryerson Rams will be looking to keep what was working in the last half of 2013 going, when they have two critical match ups against the Laurier Golden Hawks and Windsor Lancers on Friday and Saturday nights. Ryerson’s first half of the season was impressive, compiling a 10-5 record, which is tied with Western for third in the OUA West. Their first half accomplishments garnered them a number 10 ranking in the CIS Top 10 at the start of December. With only 13 games remaining in the regular season, every game will have major implications on playoff positioning.
Laurier has struggled this season, stumbling to last place in the OUA West standings but are just two games under .500. The powerplay of the Golden Hawks has been one of their strong points this season, operating at 21 per cent, which is ninth in the CIS. For the first time since November 2009, the Rams will play the Windsor Lancers. Currently in second in the OUA West with 22 points, a double win weekend would put Ryerson in first place. Windsor is also the most penalized team in Canada with 406 penalty minutes and with a Ryerson powerplay operating at 25.8 per cent, special teams could prove to be big.
Players to Watch:
Ryerson: Domenic Alberga
After an impressive start to the 2013-14 season as a rookie, Alberga will be looking to prove that he is a complete 28-game player. Alberga was named to the CIS Toronto Selects at the start of December, which played against the Team Canada World Junior Selection Camp team on Dec. 14. Much of the nomination to the team was due to his outstanding goal scoring ability. Along with linemate Jamie Wise, both are tied a top of the OUA and CIS scoring leaders with 27 points each.
Laurier: Derek Schoenmakers
In his sophomore season with the Golden Hawks, Schoenmakers exploded in November scoring eight goals and adding eight assists and is his team’s best scorer with 18 points. Schoenmakers also has four powerplay goals and will be a go-to option for Laurier on the man-advantage.
Between the Pipes:
Ryerson: Troy Passingham
Passingham, also coming off a selection for the CIS Toronto Selects, will now be the main man in goal for the Rams in the second half of the season. Statistically, Passingham has been having his best season as a Ram, posting a 4-1 record to go along with a 3.39 GAA and a team best .906 save percentage.
Laurier: Duncan Long
While all three goaltenders have seen action in the first half of the season, Long has played the most, starting in seven games for the Golden Hawks. He’s posted a record of 3-5 with a 3.98 GAA and .896 save percentage.