Varsity Blues top Rams in Downtown Showdown

MHQVWGSKBWHTALN.20130308211241This article first appeared on on Feb. 12, 2014.


TORONTO – Two goals in 46 seconds was the difference on Wednesday afternoon as the Toronto Varsity Blues defeated the Ryerson Rams, 4-3.

In front of over 1,500 fans at the Mattamy Athletic Centre at the Gardens for the annual school day game, Toronto got the scoring underway seven minutes into the first period. Blake Boddy would put home his sixth goal of the season to put Toronto up, 1-0.

Ryerson would storm right back and score three unanswered goals.

Daniel Lombardi (Richmond Hill, Ont.) would get it started followed by Jason McDonough (Toronto) scoring his fifth of the season. Lucas Froese (Grunthal, Man.) would finish off a nice passing play between Brian Birkhoff (Richmond Hill, Ont.) and Mitch Gallant (Charlottetown, P.E.I.) and it was 3-1 mid-way through the second period. Both Birkhoff and Gallant led Ryerson with two assists each.

Toronto head coach Darren Lowe called a time out following Ryerson’s third goal and for a moment, it looked as though it didn’t work.

Ryerson went down the ice and Toronto goaltender Brett Willows made a fantastic paddle save, one of his 43 in the game, that seemed to spark his squad.

Toronto would head up ice and score two goals right away to tie the game at three.

All the talk after the game was about how Ryerson has to tighten up its defensive play.

“We have to be a better team defensively. We’re giving up too many goals in too many games,” Graham Wise, Ryerson’s head coach, said post-game.

The score would remain tied until half way through the third period when Tyler Liukkonen used a Rams defenceman as a screen and put one high glove-side on Rams starter Troy Passingham (Mississauga, Ont.).

Passingham made 34 saves in the loss.

Ryerson would make a last ditched effort but Willows shut the door.

“He’s an excellent goaltender, he’s very quick, he’s agile, he really plays his angles well because he comes out so far,” Wise said about Willows.

“Willows shut the door on us, what can you say.”

Toronto’s win improves their record to 14-11-2 on the season and for now, separates the Blues from the pack with 30 points in fifth place. Only three points separate ninth place and fifth place.

The loss drops Ryerson to 16-11-0 on the season and the Rams remain tied with Windsor for third place in the OUA West. Windsor also has two games in hand on Ryerson, which makes Saturday’s showdown on Mattamy Home Ice at 2:00 p.m. between the two teams a big one.