Close games have been a near lock for the Owls in 2015 as they were 5-2 in games decided by one goal this season coming into Friday night’s game against John Carroll University.
The Owls’ history of coming up clutch was not enough against John Carroll as the Streaks outlasted Temple in a 7-6 overtime game at the Gilmour Academy Ice Arena.
The Streaks’ freshman forward Brady Wells scored the game-winner 1:18 into overtime and junior forward Kevin Vineyard tallied a goal and three assists in the win.
“We played well for having a seven-hour bus ride out there,” coach Roman Bussetti said. “We outshot them, we outplayed them, we outskated them, but we just didn’t score enough goals.”
Temple tied the game twice on the night and scored its final goal in the last minute of regulation.
Seven different skaters scored for the Streaks.
“We just have to adapt to the game situations,” said junior defenseman Justin McKenney, who had two goals. “I think we just have to battle in order to do well.”
The Owls’ top line of senior forward Stephen Kennedy, sophomore forward Joey Powell and senior forward Dan Nucero made its presence felt with seven points on the night.
Temple got on the board first when Powell scored on a pass from Kennedy in the first minute of play.
The Streaks caught fire in the last five minutes of the period when they tied the game with 4:36 remaining. John Carroll followed that with a goal with 1:48 seconds left in the first period.
The Streaks extended their lead two minutes into the second period to 3-1. John Carroll put the Owls on their heels down 4-1 eight minutes later, and Temple’s sophomore goalie Scott Salamon relieved starter Hayden Richards.
“I think when they came out they were going to smoke us,” Bussetti said. “We scored that first goal, and then they were all over us.”
Temple began to give a push back when senior defenseman Patrick Hanrahan scored on passes from Kennedy and Powell with 9:44 left in the period.
John Carroll quickly responded with another goal extending its lead to 5-2.
McKenney helped his team stay in the game when scored with just under four minutes left. Sophomore forward Alex Kempinski and freshman forward Nick Van Allen got the assists.
“We came out a little flat despite the fact we had the first goal, but that’s expected after an eight hour bus ride,” Kennedy said. “We got our feet under legs under us halfway through the second period and started grooving.”
The Temple pressure forced its first power play chance of the game, but came up empty as they trailed 5-3 at the end of the second period.
Hanrahan carried over his hot play into the final period when scored 28 seconds into the final frame. Two minutes later Van Allen connected with McKenney again to tie the game at 5-5.
Temple forces two consecutive penalties, but come up empty on both chances. For the game the Owls were 0/3 with the man advantage, and John Carroll converted on two of its three chances.
“They did a good job of manning up on our guys and getting in our shooting lanes,” Hanrahan said. “We struggled, which hasn’t been the case this season.”
The Owls got tagged with a cross checking penalty that led to the Streaks retaking the lead at 6-5 with 10:38 remaining.
Powell appeared to score with five minutes left in the game, but the John Carroll net came off its bearings and the referee waved off the score.
Temple muscled through a pile in front of the Streaks net, and Kennedy scored on a pass from Nucero with 45 seconds left in regulation.
“It was a mad scramble in front of the net and we generated a lot of shots,” Kennedy said. “Luckily, the puck squeaked loose and Nucero hit me with a one-timer and I just tried to put it on net.”
The Streaks wasted little time in overtime, when one of theirs passed the puck from the blue line and Wells finished the game with a backdoor shot.
“The whole team worked pretty well together,” McKenney said. “I wasn’t happy with the result, but at the end of the day, we are looking to bring a better effort tomorrow.”
Stephen Godwin Jr. can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @StephenGodwinJr