TORONTO — Four unanswered goals in the third period propelled the York Lions over the Ryerson Rams, 7-5, on Saturday afternoon at the Mattamy Athletic Centre at the Gardens.
The loss drops Ryerson to 15-10 on the season and with three games remaining in the regular season they have lost five of their last six games.
The game started out well for the Rams, as five minutes into the first period, Dean Willmott scored his first goal of the season short-handed to put the Rams in front.
York would answer back five minutes later as Michael Santini would score his first of the game, followed by veteran Jesse Messier also putting one home to make it 2-1.
Before the end of the period, defenceman Kent McPherson would even the game at two going into the intermission.
Just two minutes into the second, Santini would score his second of the game and give York a 3-2 lead.
Michael Fine would answer back with his eighth and ninth goals of the season, both on the powerplay, and it would be Ryerson taking a 4-3 lead. Fine’s second goal would come with under a second remaining in the period and gave his team the momentum going into the third.
A defensive breakdown on the part of the Rams would come in the third period as the red-hot Santini scored his 12th goal of the season and third of the game to tie the game at four.
Mike Lombardi would then stretch the game to 6-4 with two goals in 24 seconds from Santini and Tyler McGee. Santini finished the game with five points (3G, 2A).
York would add an empty net goal and rookie Lucas Froese would pot his sixth goal of the year with 18 second left on the powerplay, but it was too little too late.
Troy Passingham started in net for Ryerson, giving up six goals on 38 shots. Andrew Perugini got the nod in net for the Lions and made 30 saves for his ninth win of the year.
After the game, head coach Graham Wise said that his team needs to tighten up defensively.
“Defensive hockey,” Wise said when asked about what his squad needs to improve on. “Let’s keep pucks out of our net.”
Ryerson resumes their OUA schedule next Saturday, Feb. 8 when they host the Laurier Golden Hawks at the Mattamy Athletic Centre at the Gardens. Puck drop is set for 7:30 p.m.
With teams chasing Ryerson in the standings, the next three games will prove to be important.
“We better get back on the winning track, we have three games left. We’re in a battle,” Wise said.