Rams and Badgers set to meet in round one

LNXXKDNUVIROXDD.20131025030453This article first appeared on RyersonRams.ca on Feb. 18, 2014.

Link: http://www.ryersonrams.ca/ViewArticle.dbml?SPSID=109726&SPID=13614&DB_LANG=C&DB_OEM_ID=22300&ATCLID=209410631

Ryerson Rams vs. Brock Badgers
OUA West Quarter-Final Playoffs

Game 1: Thursday, Feb. 20 – Mattamy Athletic Centre at the Gardens, 7:30 p.m.

Game 2: Friday, Feb. 21 – Seymour-Hannah Centre, 7:15 p.m.

Game 3 (if necessary): Sunday, Feb. 23 – Mattamy Athletic Centre at the Gardens, 7:30 p.m.

Ryerson: 17-11-0 Last Game: 4-3 W vs. Windsor. 2013-14 Standings: 3rd – OUA West (34 Points)
Brock: 14-10-4 Last Game: 5-4 OTL at. Western. 2013-14 Standings: 6th – OUA West (32 points)

The Storyline:

If there’s one thing hockey teams love about the playoffs, it’s a fresh start. After struggling to a 4-6 record down the stretch, the Ryerson Rams men’s hockey team are looking to start off their first round series against the Brock Badgers on a clean slate. The Rams have won two of their last three games going into the post-season, including a big win at home during their last regular season game against Windsor. The two teams split their season series, with Ryerson winning 5-1 back on Oct. 25, 2013 and Brock taking the most recent matchup on Jan. 30, 5-4.

The Competition:

Brock has been a team on the rise since the start of 2014. Entering into the Christmas break, the Badgers were struggling and were near the cellar of the OUA West standings. Since then, they’ve gone 7-2-1 in their last 10 games, including getting five out of a possible six points in their last three games. In their most recent matchup against the arguably hottest team in Canada, Western, they took them to overtime, only to lose.

Players to Watch:

Ryerson: Andrew Buck

In his last season of eligibility, Buck (Newmarket, Ont.) will be looking to go out on top. After not being able to play in the postseason last year due to injury, Buck will be looking to recapture his magic from the Rams 2012 playoff run. In three games against the UQTR Patriotes he tallied three goals and three assists, despite the Rams being knocked out in game three. The last time Buck made it past the first round of the playoffs was in 2010 where he tallied two points. The captain of the Rams scored in his last game and will be looking to keep the scoring touch alive against Brock.

Brock: Matt Abercrombie

Abercrombie has been on fire as of late. In his last three games before the playoffs, he has put up eight points, including a three point performance against Western. Abercrombie scored against the Rams at the end of January as well and will be looking to lead the charge offensively for the Badgers.

Between the Pipes:

Ryerson: Troy Passingham

Passingham (Mississauga, Ont.) has been great in net over the course of the last three games for Ryerson. He’s picked up victories against Laurier and Windsor and has drawn big praise from his head coach. He finished the 2013-14 regular season with a record of 11-7, a 2.95 goals against average (GAA) and .915 save percentage (SV%), his best numbers to date in the CIS.

Brock: Real Cormier

After making his OUA debut on Jan. 25 against Toronto, Cormier hasn’t given the net back and has been outstanding down the home stretch for the Badgers. In six games he has picked up four wins and has recorded a 3.21 GAA and .915 SV%. The rookie made 35 saves against Ryerson the last time the two teams met, including a highlight reel paddle save to essentially save the game for Brock.

They said it:

“Well, you wipe the slate clean now going into the playoffs. Nobody has got any points, nobody has got any wins and every team, doesn’t matter whether we play Brock or U of T, the slate is clean and you’ve got to be prepared to play that game.”

Graham Wise, Ryerson’s head coach after Saturday’s 4-3 win over Windsor.