Coming off a telling loss to the University of Maryland last Friday, Temple coach Jerry Roberts knew it was time for a change.
It showed Friday whenthe Owls played Monmouth University, as all four forward lines and three defensive pairings sported a new look, as well as a newfound attitude.
“We were really unhappy after Maryland,” Roberts said. “We shuffled a lot of things around and changed our lines and defensive pairings. We even changed coaching responsibilities on the bench and everyone benefitted from new life. Sometimes change can be good and today was a prime example… It was time for a shakeup.”
Dave Brewer could certainly attest to Roberts’ words, as the freshman forward hit the back of the net three times for his second career hat trick in Temple’s 6-2 win against the Ice Hawks at Monmouth’s Wall Sports Arena. Junior forward Joe Pisko and freshman forward Jayson Marbach also added goals for the Owls.
“They were all goals in front,” Brewer said. “I got some nice passes from my teammates, it was all them. They set me up for three nice goals.”
The pre-game shuffle had Brewer playing on a forward line with Pisko and senior Jordan Lawrence, a move that benefitted the upcoming freshman.
“[Brewer] played with Pisko and Lawrence and those are two guys that will feed the puck,” Roberts said. “[Brewer] showed his ability to finishand when you have guys who can finish, it makes things easier.”
“Everyone is best friends on this team and we’re all like brothers,” Brewer said. “Everyone gets along. We go out all the time together and we all hang out. When you know everyone on the ice and on the bench has got your back, it makes things easier. You go out there and play your game.”
Temple (13-8) maintained control throughout much of the contest, and held a commanding 5-0 early on in the game’s final period.
It was also one that turned wilder as it progressed, as several penalties and desperation plays on behalf of the Ice Hawks resulted in three Monmouth ejections.
“The game was a little weird,” Roberts said. “It was loaded with penalties and undisciplined play on their end and it took a lot of the flow right out of the game. The refs kicked some kids out and the fans went crazy. [Our players] executed to the best of their ability and they kept their composure when there were opportunities to lose the game.”
The defensive core, along with junior goalie Chris Mullen, denied Monmouth (5-3-1) of any scoring until mid-way through the game’s final period.
“Our defense did a good job,” Roberts said. “One thing we saw that we liked was their ability to transition from the defensive zone up on offense. We’ve been happier with their play defensively and now we’re trying to focus on transitional play and breaking the puck out to the offensive zone.”
With the win, the Owls improve to 6-5 in Mid-Atlantic Collegiate Hockey Association play, while Monmouth fell to 1-4 in conference play.
Freshman forward Chris Malinowski left the game after complaining of a headache following a hard collision with a Monmouth player. Though he may sit out in tomorrow’s game as a precaution, it does not appear to be serious, Roberts said.
Temple will take the trip up to State College tomorrow to play Penn State at its Ice Pavilion. Game time is set to start at 7:30 p.m.
Andrew Parent can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @daParent93.