PHOTO BY MARTIN BAZYL, COURTESY OF THE VARSITY BLUES

The Varsity Blues men’s hockey team dropped their home opener 6–2 against the Ryerson Rams on Friday night.

The Blues opened the game with first-year forward Nathan Hudgin scoring on a pass from David Thomson, beating Rams goalie Garrett Forrest to provide the Blues with a 1–0 lead.

Despite the Blues’ early goal, the Rams looked to be more aggressive on offense, leading 12–6 shots on goal after the first period.

Ryerson started the second period with a strong push, tying the game at 1–1 less than a minute into the period. With no time wasted, Ryerson found themselves back in the game with a goal scored by forward Devon Paliani.

The Rams then capitalized on a power play, extending their lead 2–1 with a goal by Matt Mistele.

The Blues’ defense struggled as Ryerson’s Steven Harland and Devon Paliani found the back of the net, making it a 4–1 game, and Paliani’s second of the game. The second period belonged to the Rams as they scored an impressive four goals while shutting out the Blues’ offense. At the end of the period, the Rams offense dominated with a staggering 32–18 shots on goal.

The Rams never looked back, as they scored again to begin the final period. U of T managed to score with a goal by Josh Hanson, cutting the lead 5–2 and bringing hopes of a comeback. Ryerson then added on another goal, dashing any chances of a comeback.

Blues goalie Alex Bishop struggled on the night, allowing six goals. Forrest saved 30 shots of 32 attempts, helping Ryerson cruise to an easy 6–2 win.

“It wasn’t one of our better performances. We’ll just leave it at that,” said Blues defender Josh Hanson. “We expect a lot better of ourselves.”

When asked about the momentum lost in the second period, Hanson replied, “I think it’s as simple as we just weren’t ready to play in the second period.”

However, considering future games, Hanson said, “Games in back-to-back nights like this, you can’t dwell on the negative. We’re not going to sit here all night and think about how differently this game could have gone.”

“We’re definitely going to strive to wipe this one clean of our memories,” he concluded. “We’re going to go forward and play some better hockey.”

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