Temple continued its Friday night struggles against Syracuse University, after the Owls allowed five-unanswered goals Friday night, losing 6-2 at the Flyers Skate Zone.
The Owls are now 1-6 on Fridays this season.
“As a whole I think we played lazy, and we played tired,” Owls’ coach Roman Bussetti said. “We didn’t really go out and battle. We lost a lot races and we lost a lot of battles.”
Temple struggled with turnovers in its own zone to start the game and allowed the Orange to take the lead after Syracuse flipped the puck over the shoulder of the Owls junior goalie Hayden Richards.
The Owls rebounded from there and peppered Syracuse junior goalie Jaime Ketchabaw with shots. The offensive pressure led to Temple’s senior defenseman Jason Lombardi scoring in transition off a pass by sophomore forward Joey Powell.
The Orange had three penalties in the period, but its penalty kill negated the opportunities. The Owls were 0-5 for the game with the man advantage.
Powell scored an early second period goal after shaking off the check of a Syracuse defender and getting alone on Ketchabaw.
“I was feeling pretty good all game,” said Powell, who also assisted on Lombardi’s goal. “I saw a loose puck and just skated as fast as I could. I beat one guy and saw a corner and threw it there. I think the puck bounced, so he had to turn, so I had a stride on him, so I knew I could beat him and I just kind of shielded him.”
The Orange rallied off a rebound in front of Richards midway through the period, and took the lead 20 seconds later with a shot out of a faceoff in Temple’s defensive zone.
“As soon as they got the second goal we kind of just went flat,” Bussetti said. “[Jason Lombardi] broke his skate so we had to switch up our defensive rotation and we just didn’t have any consistency in the forwards”
The momentum shifted to Syracuse and the Owls struggled to generate offensive chances. Temple had a defensive stand in front of Richards that seemed to spark its forwards. The Syracuse defense gave up opportunities, but seemed to blanket Owls senior forward Stephen Kennedy late in the game.
The Owls had a chance to even the score early in the third period with a five-on-three power play, but could not find a way to put a puck past Ketchabaw.
“They were an aggressive power play,” Lombardi said. “They kind of jumped on us. We have some guys who aren’t 100 percent physically. It’s always tough playing through injuries, but I think they just outmatched us, especially we were up a guy. We were trying to set up, but they just pressured us too hard.”
After Temple failed to score the equalizer the Orange scored an insurance goal halfway through the period with traffic in front of Richards. Syracuse added two more goals as Temple’s offense looked flat by only registering five shots in the period.
“They kept everyone low including the wingers, so we were trying to work the puck to the point, but we weren’t winning puck battles in the corners, so we couldn’t get it out there,” Powell said. “We kept getting caught and weren’t able to get the puck to the net. In the game we were tired and that made it worse.”
Junior defenseman Justin McKenney suffered an upper body injury in the second period and had to leave the game. Fellow defenseman Aron Litostanski returned after missing six games with a concussion, but left after a few shifts after hitting his head along the boards.
Stephen Godwin Jr. can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @StephenGodwinJr