Harland leads Rams in back to back games
TORONTO - The Rams returned to their Mattamy Home Ice for an afternoon matinee against the Western Mustangs on Saturday afternoon, coming away with a 5-1 win over the Mustangs.
The Rams were able to come away with an exciting finish last night against Waterloo with a 5-4 overtime win. Steven Harland (Toronto, Ont.) was the one to take down the Warriors on Friday night, and the Rams were ready to compete with the Mustangs next.
The Rams opened the first period at a steady pace against the Mustangs, but they were still slow compared to what they are used to. Both teams moved the puck well, and had a number of chances. Taylor Dupuis (New Liskeard, Ont.) turned aside a number of Mustang opportunities, which helped the Rams convert early on.
“I am calm back there. There are some situations in the game and the intensity and emotions get high. So I try to settle things down back there. Even in the dressing room I’m a vocal guy, and I know when to pick and choose my best spots, and still be aggressive out there,” said Dupuis.
Late in the first Western made a failed attempt at controlling the puck in their end. Mustangs' goalie, David Ovsjannikov, came out of his net and lost the puck to Ryerson’s Jesse Barwell (Oakville, Ont.). The Mustangs slid in front of Barwell to prevent a shot on an empty net, however, he found the stick of David Miller (Burlington, Ont). Miller skated around the Mustangs and made the shot. This was Miller’s first goal of the season. The Rams were up 1-0 after the first period, with 13 shots compared the the Mustangs' nine.
Right off the top, the Rams came out firing in the second period, but they could not catch a break.
At 17:03 the Mustangs' captured the puck off of a Rams powerplay opportunity. The Mustangs skated down the ice and it was a two on one. Alex Basso (Toronto, Ont.) tried to get in front of one of the Mustangs, but a pass was made across the ice. Dupuis was the Rams last fighting chance, and the Mustangs Cordell James was able to get by for a short handed goal to tie the game at 1-1.
The Rams increased their shot count to 31 and the Mustangs had 19.
Into the third, there wasn’t much action again for either team. The Rams continued to play deep in the Mustangs zone. But a fire alarm at the Mattamy Athletic Centre gave the Rams a chance to recover and restrategize.
Luckily, there was a bouncing puck, and Devon Paliani (LaSalle, Ont.) made a back handed shot, and Marcus Hinds (Toronto, Ont.) was there to support the attack. But it was Harland who got the rebound and buried the puck to give the Rams a 2-1 lead. This was Harland’s fifth goal of the season.
“I got the bounce I needed, which was great and made tonight a lot of fun. Everyone keeps working hard, and Dupuis and our lines played amazing, so that really helped us today,” said Harland.
At 16:29, Patrick Fellows (Mississauga, Ont.), scored to give the Rams some insurance late in the third. Cavin Leth (Taber, Alta.), and Harland were there for the setup.
Basso took advantage of the Mustangs pulling their goalie and put up a point from Mathew Santos (Toronto, Ont) at 17:20.
Seconds later the Rams went for another run and Paliani added another goal. Gregory DiTomaso (Etobicoke, Ont.) and John Carpino (Maple, Ont.) were strong on the offence for the assists.
“When the guys put up five or six goals it makes my job easier. My job is to stop the puck and keep the team in it as long as they can, especially in the third. I was able to hold them at one and we obviously pulled away in the third again, and it feels good to get another one,” said Dupuis.
“We have a lot of character on our team and we are never going to quit.”
The Rams advance to 9-1-1 this season, and will welcome Windsor on Thursday, November 15th for their next game at the Mattamy Athletic Centre at 7:15 p.m.