This article first appeared on RyersonRams.ca on Jan. 16, 2014.
Ryerson Rams at. Lakehead Thunderwolves
January 17, 2014
Fort William Gardens, 7 p.m.
Ryerson: 14-6-0 Last Game: 3-2 L at. Western. 2013-14 Standings: 1st – OUA West (28 Points)
Lakehead: 13-4-1 Last Game: 5-1 L at. Western. 2013-14 Standings: 2nd – OUA West (27 points)
First place will be on the line this weekend, as the Lakehead Thunderwolves prepare to host the first-place Ryerson Rams in a two-game home stand at Fort William Gardens. After claiming the number one spot in the standings from the Thunderwolves last weekend, Ryerson will be looking to expand their slim one point lead on Friday and Saturday nights. Coming off a loss against the surging Western Mustangs on Wednesday night, No. 8 Ryerson will be looking to bounce back against No. 9 Lakehead who are perfect on home ice with an 8-0 record.
Lakehead has struggled out of the gate to begin the new year. After two wins to start the second half of the season against Toronto, they lost both their games last weekend against Brock and Western. Thankfully, they were able to snag a point in the overtime loss to Brock and sit just one point behind Ryerson entering into the crucial weekend of play. A defensively sound team, they have only allowed 43 goals in 2013-14 so far, which ranks fifth in the CIS. With that said, they will face a tough test in Ryerson who averages almost five goals a game, second best in the CIS.
Players to Watch:
Ryerson: Andrew Buck
Captain Buck made his return to the lineup on Wednesday night against Western, after missing two games due to injury. In 16 games, Buck has scored nine points (4G, 5A), but hasn’t found the scoresheet since November 2013. With only eight games left on the schedule, his leadership both in the dressing room and on the ice will prove to be key.
Lakehead: Cody Alcock
If Lakehead will be able to keep up with Ryerson’s ramped scoring pace, they will need their leading goal scorer, Cody Alcock. Alcock leads the team with 12 goals and already has two to start the second half of the season. He sits third in team scoring with 16 points in 17 games.
Between the Pipes:
Ryerson: Troy Passingham
A glitch in the sails of Passingham’s high flying boat to start the second half was delivered on Wednesday night against Western whenPassingham allowed three goals on 26 shots in the loss. He will be looking to rebound this weekend against a tough Lakehead squad.
Lakehead: Jeff Bosch
Bosch didn’t start his season between Lakehead’s pipes until mid-November but in the seven games that he has played in, he’s been solid. He has a 4-3 record with a 1.87 GAA and .935 save percentage, but gave up all five goals against Western last weekend. Bosch, must like Passingham will be looking to bounce back this weekend.