The Varsity Blues men’s hockey team saw their historic winning streak snapped on January 9 when they lost a 4–3 decision to the Ryerson Rams in overtime. Despite the loss — their first after winning 14 games in a row — the Blues remain on top of the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) West Conference.
The crosstown matchup saw both teams start the game off strong. It was impossible to tell who would be the victor when watching the first period, as both teams were evenly matched in speed, puck handling, and intensity. Second-year goalie Alex Bishop was rock solid in net, showing no signs of nervousness as he handled close shots and hard pressure with ease.
The defensive line of Captain Willy Paul and veteran Evan MacEachern also played with a fearless mindset — they showed no hesitation when diving in front of shots to protect their net. Despite their sacrificial defending and crafty offense — Colin Paradis and Kevin Lavoie were particularly dangerous up front — the Rams drew first blood with a beautiful goal at just under a minute of play left in the first period.
Toronto came into the second period with even more vigour and intensity than before. Their discipline was quickly rewarded when Jared Leslie scored off a rebound from teammate Kyle Clarke.
The Blues were eager to continue chipping away at the Rams, and pulled ahead with a 2–1 score when Lavoie notched a stunning goal off a Scott Kirton assist. Ryerson tied it up with a goal of their own shortly after, but Ross Krieger once again pulled ahead after capitalizing on a scramble in front of Ryerson’s net.
Unfortunately, the Rams once again equalized with two minutes left in the period, and the game headed into the third period knotted up at 3–3.
Despite an intense, back-and-forth third period, no more goals were scored, leading to a three-on-three sudden death overtime period. Toronto was visibly exhausted at this point, as the match had been incredibly physical and tense, despite only three penalties being called. Bishop made a pair of impossible saves to keep the Blues heading toward a shootout, but the Rams managed to slip one past him just before overtime expired to take the match.
The Blues will next head to Guelph to play the Guelph Gryphons on January 11, before returning home to play against the University of Windsor on January 17.