Rams visit Guelph in search of fourth straight win

downloadThis article first appeared on RyersonRams.ca on Jan. 8, 2014.

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Ryerson Rams at Guelph Gryphons
January 9, 2014
Gryphon Centre, 7:30 p.m.

Ryerson: 12-5-0 Last Game: 4-1 W at. Windsor. 2013-14 Standings: 2nd – OUA West (24 Points)
Guelph: 8-7-2 Last Game: 3-2 W-OT at. Nipissing. 2013-14 Standings: 6th – OUA West (18 points)

The Storyline:
The No. 10 nationally ranked Ryerson Rams will look to build off a three game winning streak on Thursday night when they take on the Guelph Gryphons. Ryerson is coming off two wins last weekend again Laurier and a Windsor to put themselves two points behind first place Lakehead in the OUA West standings. This will be the second time that these two teams face-off in the 2013-14 regular season. On Oct. 24, 2013, Ryerson dominated the Gryphons, defeating them 6-1. Ryerson is no stranger to scoring goals, scoring 79 on the season which ranks first in Canada.

The Competition:
In a very tight OUA West, Guelph is holding on to sixth place in the standings, but that could very well change if they don’t start stringing together some wins. In the past 10 games, Guelph has a 4-4-2 record including splitting a pair of games last weekend against Laurentian and Nipissing. The Gryphons have a very hot powerplay, operating at 24.4 per cent which is fifth in the country. They’ve also scored 21 goals on the man-advantage which also ranks fifth in the CIS.

Players to Watch:

Ryerson: Jamie Wise
In his first full season as a Ryerson Ram, Wise has broke out to have a career year offensively. His 31 points, including a three-point night against Windsor last weekend, ranks first in the CIS, one point better than linemate Dominic Alberga. Wise is averaging 2.06 points per game and if he keeps up that pace with 11 games remaining, he will surpass his current best of 48 points in 59 games from 2011-12 with the Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL).

Guelph: Nicklas Huard
After a dynamite start to the 2013-14 regular season, Huard has been quiet in the last few games. The last time Huard found the back of the net was on Nov. 22, 2013 in Ottawa against the Carleton Ravens. The last time Guelph played Ryerson, Huard was held pointless but after an assist against Nipissing last weekend and the shootout winner, Huard may have found his spark in 2014.

Between the Pipes:

Ryerson: Troy Passingham
After two solid performances last weekend where he allowed only two goals, third-year goaltender Troy Passingham is looking strong to start the new year. The Ryerson Athletics male athlete of the week, Passingham made 64 saves in Ryerson’s two wins last weekend against Laurier and Windsor and has won his last three outings. He has a 2.74 GAA and a .922 save percentage which ranks 11th in the CIS.

Guelph: Andrew Loverock
Loverock hasn’t seen a whole lot of playing time so far this season, only starting five games, but Guelph could be rolling the hot hand on Thursday night. Loverock made 42 saves last weekend against Nipissing in an overtime win and will be looking to build off of that success. He has a record of 2-3 and a .896 save percentage.