By the Numbers: No rust on the offensive or defensive sides of the ice after holiday break

Photo by Mackenzie Gerry
Photo by Mackenzie Gerry

133 – The Ryerson Rams men’s hockey program has a new leader in points and it came off the stick of current captain Matt Mistele. It was a celebratory start to the 2020 calendar year for the high octane forward, as the fourth-year player now sits first in program point-getters. His record-setting 133rd point came on his first assist of the night on Friday, while his second helper brings his impressive career total to 134 and counting.

22 – RMC has been one of the most dynamic squads with the man advantage this season and found themselves in front of the pack on Saturday night before Toronto completed their weekend run of seven powerplay tallies. The now second-highest scoring team on the powerplay secured their 22nd such tally on Saturday, with Rhett Willcox putting up his team’s opener against Nipissing. The Paladins now have at least one powerplay goal in their last 10 contests and have accomplished the feat in all but two games all season long.

14 – The Toronto Varsity Blues didn’t just shine on the powerplay this weekend; they fired on all cylinders in their return from the holiday break. After wrapping up the first half of the season by reeling off 12 straight wins, the talented team picked up right where they left off in their first bouts of 2020. Another two wins, including a convincing 7-0 triumph over the Brock Badgers, kept their streaking ways intact and pushed their winning streak to a blistering 14 straight games on the season.

9 – Players were well rested after their respective holiday breaks and it didn’t take long for their offensive game to shake off the rust. In fact, a total of nine teams on the men’s side recorded at least six goals in a game to open 2020, including a weekend-best nine from the Western Mustangs in their convincing 9-4 win over York, and a combined 15 goals in a barnburner between Ottawa and Concordia that saw the latter earn an 8-7 overtime win in the offence-driven affair.  

7 – The Lakehead Thunderwolves put their best foot forward in their first test of 2020, rolling out the red carpet for the upcoming calendar year with the highest offensive output of the men’s hockey season. Going up against Guelph on Friday night, the Thunderwolves put their scoring touch on display early and often. A total of six pucks found the back of the net in regulation – a flurry that started with Jordan King’s goal less than four minutes in and wrapped up with Daniel Del Paggio’s tying marker with just over two minutes to go – and they capped off the effort with another two tallies in the shootout to claim the 7-6 win over the Gryphons.

6 – The hardwood has been kind to the preeminent conference in 2019-20, as the second half of the season starts with robust representation in the national ranks on both the women’s and men’s scenes. Six Ontario squads are among the top 10 in both sets of rankings, highlighted by the nation’s top-seeded Carleton Ravens on the men’s side and Ontario’s top female representative, the Ottawa Gee-Gees, ranking third.

5 – While offence was largely the name of the game in the men’s return to the ice, the women’s push for the playoffs began with a much more defensive-minded game plan. In the 10 games that hit the ice this weekend, a total of five saw shutout performances, started off by a goose egg from both the Toronto Varsity Blues and Nipissing Lakers in their respective Friday night tilts and ending with a clean sheet from OUA Athlete of the Week Aurore Beaulieu in Guelph’s 3-0 win over the Blues.

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