For one night the Lakehead Thunderwolves were able to contain the most potent offence in the conference.
That ended on Saturday when they experienced the full wrath of the Ryerson Rams attack.
No. 8 Ryerson scored three goals in the first 10 minutes of the opening period, en route to a 7-1 victory over the Thunderwolves in Ontario university hockey at the Fort William Gardens.
As far as Lakehead head coach Bill McDonald was concerned, that substandard start eliminated their chances of coming away with the weekend sweep after Friday’s triumph.
“I told them the game was lost in the first 10 minutes,” McDonald said.
“When you have a game like Friday two things can happen. It can either be draining energy wise or guys are complacent and happy with the two points and thought the same thing was going to happen. That team took a lot of pride and came out and handed us our lunch.”
Lakehead (14-5-1) entered the game with possession of first place in the OUA West division but relinquished that to Ryerson after holding it for just 24 hours.
Ryerson head coach Graham Wise said his group picked apart the previous game and made more of emphasis of playing their style of strong transitional play.
“We just felt we had to regroup and put it behind us when you lose a tight one like we did (Friday) in the last minute of the game,” Wise said. “We just made a couple of adjustments after watching video and the three quick goals in the first period took the wind out of Lakehead’s sails.”
Ryerson jumped on Lakehead from the outset, scoring three times in the first 10:05 of the contest.
Jamie Wise got things rolling for Ryerson, notching his 17th of the campaign with a rocket unleashed from the circle to the left of goaltender Justin McDonald.
That was followed up two minutes later when Jason McDonough was the beneficiary of a loose puck that came loose to him in a scrum.
That second goal prompted the bench boss to call a timeout in hopes of rallying the troops.
“I don’t think we were ready to play but the thing that bothers me is (Friday) night we showed how we had to play this team and the first two goals they got were caused in the other team’s end by not getting the puck deep,” he said.
The move did not have its desired effect, as Ryerson captain Andrew Buck bumped the lead up to three by tipping in a centring pass from Mitch Gallant.
The Thunderwolves had opportunities to cut into the lead, including a stretch of five-on-three play that lasted for more than a minute. Rams goaltender Troy Passingham kept the shooters at bay.
“I think Passingham definitely came with his A game this weekend,” said the Ryerson coach. “He made some saves early.”
The Thunderwolves finally broke the goose egg in the final two minutes of the second period with a powerplay tally while trailing by four off a blast from the point by defenceman Chris de la Lande.
Just one night after directing 53 shots at Passingham, Lakehead was only able to fire 31 pucks on the net.
“For some reason we didn’t want to do it tonight,” McDonald said. “We wanted to curl up and toe drag guys inside their blue line and we coughed it up and it ended up in our net.”
“Our game isn’t pulling up at the blueline looking for a pass,” added captain Andrew Wilkins. “Clearly we got away from that (Saturday).”
Wise completed the hat trick in the final frame, scoring two of Ryerson’s three third period goals.
Despite the seven goals, both the coach and captain were quick to defend the rookie goaltender.
“On most of those goals we left him out to dry. It could have been 15-1 if he didn’t make a couple big saves,” Wilkins said.
“He deserves better than that.”
Claw marks: The win was the first for Ryerson in the all-time head-to-head series with Lakehead in their tenth attempt...Wolves forward Cody Alcock left the contest with an upper body injury that was suffered Friday and was taken out of the game by McDonald as a precautionary measure... McDonough was ejected in the second period following his third stick infraction of the game...Next up for the Wolves is a road trip against the Windsor Lancers next weekend.
Scoring: 1. Ryerson, Wise 17 (Corbett, Fine) 4:20. 2. Ryerson, McDonough 4 (Buck, Corbett) 6:17. 3. Ryerson, Buck 6 (Gallant) 10:05. Penalties: Corbett RYE (boarding) 6:26; Searle RYE (cross-checking) 7:12; McDonough RYE (high-sticking) 13:18.
Scoring: 4. Ryerson, McPherson (Birkhoff, Fine) 14:34 pp. 5. Lakehead, de la Lande (Magill, Wilkins) 18:11 pp. Penalties: McDonough RYE (cross-checking) 9:23; Birkhoff RYE, Wise RYE (cross-checking) ; Maw LAK (boarding), DeLory LAK (unsportsmanlike conduct) 14:05; McDonough RYE (high-sticking) 17:34.
Scoring: 6. Ryerson, Wise 18 (Fine, Alberga) 2:07 pp. 7. Ryerson, Terreri (Lombardi, Froese) 5:23. 8. Ryerson, Wise 19 (McPherson, Birkhoff) 18:28 pp. Penalties: Gilbert LAK (tripping) 1:17; Kelly RYE (boarding) 2:22; de la Lande LAK (hooking) 2:46; Alberga RYE (holding the stick) 7:18; M. Quesnele LAK (high-sticking) 9:39; Dubchak LAK (boarding) 13:23; McCarthy RYE (interference) 15:38; Gilbert LAK (roughing), Restoule (unsportsmanlike conduct) 18:07.
GAME DATA - SOG - Ryerson: 13-8-13-34, Lakehead 11-11-9-31; Power plays (goals-chances) - Ryerson (3-8), Lakehead (1-10); Goaltenders - Ryerson: Troy Passingham (33 saves, 34 shots), Lakehead: Justin McDonald (27 saves, 34 shots). Attendance: 2,589
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