Greg Malinowski picked himself to skate for the Owls in a shootout against the Drexel Dragons.
He didn’t miss.
Malinowski swept in and scored on Drexel goalie Lukas Harb, to give Temple the 6-5 win over their division one opponent on Dec. 7 at the Northeast Hockey Skate Zone. The game featured four ties and a five-goal second period.
“The last shooter, Greg picked himself,” Frain said. “He looked at me and said, ‘I got it,’ and he showed us that he did.”
Malinowski has a bit of history with Drexel as he scored the lone goal in the City 6 championship game on Sept. 28.
“Honestly, I just wanted to go in the shootout,” Malinowski said. “I just wanted to get it over with. I was like 100 percent sure I was [going] to score, I just wanted to get it over with so we could get the [heck] out of there.”
Malinowski saw a key flaw in the Dragon’s goaltender, and Malinowski looked to exploit the weakness.
“I was watching the shootout earlier, and I saw [Harb] was favoring his glove side as he was going down so with that, I went to his glove side and I just lifted it high [and] it went right over him,” Malinowski said.
The captain’s bravado was set up after goalie Eric Semborski conceded the tying goal with 2 minutes, 55 seconds left in the third period.
“We knew going into the game it was going to be a close game no matter what, and when they scored to tie it up we just realized that we had to come back and not let this game become like last time.”
Forward Stephen Kennedy, scored the first goal in the shootout and added three goals in regulation. Kennedy was absent from the box score in the championship game and used it as motivation for his output.
“I got a buddy or two on that team, [and] I also know the coaches so I really wanted to come out firing tonight,” Kennedy said. “[I] definitely wanted to make up for being silent in that first game.”
Kennedy knew his approach to today’s game would have to be different if he expected to contribute to the score sheet.
“They definitely like to play physical, so I knew I couldn’t do a lot of long extensive plays,” Kennedy said. “I would have to do some quick chip plays and just use my line mates, [and] use each other to get in some nice open spaces.”
The key stat to the Owl’s success was a 0 for 5 defensive output for the Owl’s penalty kill unit. Drexel was chased out of its zone and struggled to sustain puck possession with the man advantage.
“Our penalty kill these pass couple games has been awesome,” Frain said. “The guys are [working] stops and starts and trying to block anything possible. Once we gain possession of the puck in our zone we are making smart plays and getting the puck out the zone, changing up and getting fresh legs out there.”
The special teams unit was helped out by goalie Eric Semborski, who stopped nearly 50 shots on the afternoon. Both goalies allowed more than their usual goal count, but Semborski said he is just glad he was a little bit better.
“There’s all types of games,” Semborski said. “[There are] games that go back and forth and you just try to score more than the other team. Those are games that you still have to be in it till the end. I’m just glad I gave my team a chance to win and if I give up eight goals and still win, then I am doing my job.”
Forward Dave Brewer ignited the rally by scoring with 51 seconds left in the first period to cut into the 2-0 Drexel lead.
“It definitely picked us up,” Kennedy said. “We were feeling a little light after we came out with such a good effort and they still got the first one so once we netted [our] first one, I felt like we were rolling.”
Temple plays its next game next Friday against the University of Delaware at 9:20 p.m.
Stephen Godwin Jr. can be reached at Stephen.firstname.lastname@example.org or twitter @StephenGodwinJr