The Owls rallied from two two-goal deficits to beat Canisius College 6-5 at the Flyers Skate Zone on Nov.8. Temple’s senior forward Dan Nucero scored twice and had an assist to fuel the comeback. Junior goalie Hayden Richards also stopped 41 shots.
Nucero, sophomore forward Joey Powell and senior forward Stephen Kennedy played on the same line for the second-consecutive game. The linemates produced four goals and three assists.
“I think we just had it today,” Powell said who also had a goal and two assists. “We knew we were going to win, so we just kept rolling. It just felt good. It was just the way were playing. We were getting enough chances. We were playing well defensively and [junior goalie] Hayden [Richards] had our back.”
The Golden Griffins started the game quick by getting the puck in front of Richards on two of their first shifts. The shot from the first chance bounced off the inside of the cross bar prompting the goal siren to go off, but the goal did not count. Before Temple could regroup, the Golden Griffins scored the opening goal in the first 33 seconds.
The teams exchanged unsuccessful penalties, but the Griffin’s added to their lead on the heels of another man advantage with a power play goal.
Temple got on the board minutes later when senior defenseman Jason Lombardi passed to Nucero who found Kennedy streaking to the net for the goal.
A controversial series of events followed when Owls sophomore defenseman Ryan Dumbach was pulled down in front of his own net. A Canisius player prevented Dumbach from getting up and Lombardi retaliated by shoving the Griffins’ player into the boards.
The referees decided put Lomardi and Dumbach in the box along with one of the Griffins’ players. Temple senior defenseman and captain Patrick Hanrahan also left the ice with a skate issue.
The Owl replacements stymied Canisius and Powell scored a power play goal in the final 20 seconds to tie the game.
“I think the guys stepped up big time,”said Hanrahan, who had a goal and an assist. “We ended up getting two more goals out of it. I think the defenseman that came in for some big shifts, especially for the kill there. Offensively for them to still produce and get a couple goals there and get us back in the game.”
Canisius goalie Alvin Dow was replaced by backup goalie Bret Gilmour to start the second period. Gilmour rejected the first four shots he faced and the Griffins re-established its lead within the first three minutes. After offsetting penalties, the Griffins tallied again.
Temple’s power play struggled in the period and did not take advantage of six-straight penalties committed by Canisius, including a five-on-three chance. Gilmour stopped the Owls shots, but the Griffins’ defense kept the Temple’s forwards from getting anything in close.
The Owls came into the third period with a spark as they outshot the Griffins 11-2. The pressure translated to the power play when Hanrahan scored on a pass from Powell.
“We talked at the intermission,” Hanrahan said. “We decided we were going to change it up a little bit because they were shadowing different players, so we decided how we were going to go about it and still get pucks in the net.”
Nucero scored the tying goal halfway through the period when he blocked Gilmour’s attempted clearing pass and knocked in the rebound. Nucero got behind the Canisius defense again three minutes later when junior defenseman Matt Krulikowski found him for the go-ahead goal.
The game got chippy from there and both teams finished with 10 penalties.
“We knew we had to play our style of game, and we knew we had to get the puck deep,” Nucero said. “When we were throwing the body we were hitting them and they were kind of losing their heads.”
The Owls continued to pour on the offensive pressure and sophomore forward Patrick Devlin scored the eventual game winner.
Canisius baited Temple into taking a pair of penalties in the final four minutes and scored on the chances. The Griffin’s pulled Gilmour, but the Owls blocked shots and Richards closed out the game.
“We played with a lot of passion and a lot of heart,” Bussetti said. “We took a couple of stupid penalties at the end there that got them their fifth goal, but at the end of the day we were playing. We played the whole game. [For] 60 minutes we battled and we worked hard and we can play with anybody as long as we show up to that level.”
Stephen Godwin Jr. can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @StephenGodwinJr