On Feb. 23, the Western Mustangs moved onto the semi-finals of the OUA playoffs after defeating the Ryerson Rams 3-2 in overtime at the Mattamy Athletic Centre in Toronto, Ont.
The first period of the game was a physical one, with both teams throwing around the body.
Ram's sniper Mathew Santos was all over the Western Mustangs in the first. The big winger threw two huge hits before he opened the scoring.
Santos gave the Rams a 1-0 when he snuck a shot through Western goalie Luke Perressini’s five-hole.
Ryerson went into the first intermission with a one-goal lead and had all the
momentum on their side.
Heading into the second, Ryerson tried to build on their lead with their aggressive forechecking.
Perressini’s great goaltending kept his team only down by one, after numerous Ryerson scoring chances.
Western’s Kyle Pettit tied the game at one-all when he found himself all alone on Ryerson’s Garrett Forrest. Forrest tried to poke check the puck but Pettit pulled a backhand deke to make it 1-1.
Western continued to pressure Ryerson in the second, throwing puck after puck towards Forrest’s net. Ryerson was able to come out of that period only giving up one.
With one period left to play in the winner takes all game, the speed of play picked up.
Early in the third Ryerson had two glorious breakaway chances but Perressini held
Zachary Shankar scored with 12:43 to go in the third after receiving a pass from a beautiful breakout led by Devon Paliani and Mathew Santos. Shankar pulled off a backhand deke similar to Pettit’s in the second, giving the Rams a 2-1 lead.
With 2:13 remaining in the third, Western’s Franco Sproviero put a rocket of a shot past Forrest to keep his team alive in their hunt for an OUA championship.
After 60 minutes of play, the teams headed to the locker rooms tied at two, heading into sudden-death overtime.
Under a minute in, Ryerson came close to ending it all but a Western goal post kept the Mustangs alive.
With 12:52 remaining in OT, the Mustangs were able to book their ticket to the OUA semifinals when Kolten Olynek scored off of his own rebound to knock out the Rams.
Western won the last two games of the series after Ryerson won the opening game
Ryerson outplayed Western the whole night. They led in the shot department 41-26
and had way more scoring chances.
Ryerson’s season is now over and Western will move on to the next round.
Western has beat the first and second seed in the tournament already in Toronto and Ryerson.
They will now meet the third seed Guelph Gryphons in the semis.