Temple has opened its season with back-to-back wins after beating the State University of New York at Cortland, 4-1, Friday night at the Flyers Skate Zone in Northeast Philadelphia.
A strong performance by sophomore goaltender Ben Auerbach made the win possible. He stopped 30 of the 31 shots he faced.
The team’s strong second period, when it outshot Cortland 22-8 and scored two goals, propelled Temple to the win.
The Red Dragons trapped the Owls in their own zone for most of the first period. Temple fell down, 1-0, due to costly turnovers and otherwise shaky play.
Freshman forward Eric DiPretoro’s power-play goal a little more than one minute into the second period tied the game and started a stretch of four consecutive Temple goals.
The Owls limited Cortland to 15 shots after the first period. Sophomore forward Jack Pearce gave the Owls the lead with less than three minutes left in the second period.
Sophomore forward Charles Ghiazza scored a goal on a tight wrist shot that beat the Cortland goaltender high four minutes and 35 seconds through the third to increase the Temple lead to 3-1. The Owls notched one more goal courtesy of freshman forward Brendan Ondick to secure their victory with seven minutes left in the game.
Temple’s two wins have both been come-from-behind efforts. Temple trailed, 3-1, in the second period against Millersville University on Sept. 8 before it scored three consecutive goals to win in overtime.
“I don’t think we played very well in the first period,” coach Mark Spease said. “But I think we played really well in the second and third. You could see on the scoreboard and the shot clock that we played really well in the second and third. If we started the first period like we did the second and third, that would’ve been a six or 7-1 game.”
Auerbach’s 30-save performance helped the Owls through their slow start. After allowing a goal in the first period off an odd-man rush, Auerbach stopped every shot the rest of the way.
“I can tell when the team is not firing on all cylinders, and I definitely have to step up,” Auerbach said. “Just not getting rattled when I feel that they’re not working hard and just think about that there’s gonna be a time when they come back and help me out.”
The Owls will look to avoid another sluggish start when they face Robert Morris University on Saturday at home. In the only matchup between the teams last season, Robert Morris easily defeated the Owls, 9-1.
“I wanna see us get out of the gates real quick in the first period and do really well and set the tempo,” Spease said.