When the Owls faced Lehigh University Oct. 9, Temple surrendered five straight goals to end the game after it led the Mountain Hawks for the first 35 minutes.
The Owls appeared to get the better of Lehigh this time around when they carried a three-goal lead into the third period. However, Lehigh responded with six goals in the final frame to overwhelm Temple for an 8-7 win at the Flyers’ Skate Zone Oct. 17.
“I don’t think we have the killer mentality that we need to win at this level to be successful,” sophomore forward Joey Powell said. “It’s something we’re working on, and you just try and stay positive and look at the good things we did tonight.”
The loss put a damper on Powell’s line after contributing 11 points. Senior forward Stephen Kennedy had three goals and four assists, and Powell also had a hat trick.
“It was just winning the puck battles, keeping our heads up and finding the open man,” Powell said. “I know Steve made a couple great passes. Jimmy [Milanesi] played really well too. We were just clicking as a line. For the first time all year, I feel we played up to our potential as a line.”
Freshman goaltender Zach Burkhardt started for the second-consecutive game and tallied 16 saves in the first two periods.
Lehigh scored the first two goals of the game in the first period, but the Owls finished the period with a 3-2 lead. Temple added to its lead with two more unanswered goals in the second period.
“I just think we came out aggressive and upbeat and went after the puck,” Powell said. “It made a huge difference. We stayed disciplined and made some great passes in the offensive zone. It was all throughout the night we were just moving the puck and flying around.”
Temple took advantage of its time on the power play to build lead, as the Owls operated cleanly in the Lehigh zone and converted three of its five chances.
“We moved the puck fairly well and found the open man,” Powell said. “In the offensive zone, we were doing everything right. We need to build on that and bring that to the defensive zone, and we’ll be a complete team.”
Temple showed its ability to play disciplined hockey with three penalties in the game. The infractions went for naught as the Owls extinguished the Mountain Hawk’s man advantage.
“I think we just got better on working our system and how we are playing,” Powell said. “I think we [all] had to figure out our identity, but we’ve taken a step forward as a team. We’re definitely not where we need to be yet to be successful.”
Stephen Godwin Jr. can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @StephenGodwinJr