All coach Mark Spease could do was shake his head outside of the locker room.
“We were just bad tonight,” he said. “We played terrible.”
Spease’s Temple club dropped its fourth game of the season and fell to 4-3-1 after its 8-2 loss to John Carroll University on Friday night at the Flyers Skate Zone in Northeast Philadelphia.
The Owls were outshot 61-25 and gave up two power-play goals and a short-handed goal. Sophomore goaltender Ben Auerbach started the game before junior goaltender Zach Burkhardt replaced him at the start of the third period. Auerbach allowed five goals on 34 shots.
Two of the goals Auerbach allowed came on John Carroll power plays. The Owls conceded eight power plays in their win against the Rochester Institute of Technology last Saturday and allowed a power-play goal in their shootout loss to the State University of New York at Oswego on Oct. 6.
John Carroll took the lead early with a goal off a rebound that came in front of the net and was rammed home at the 10-minute, 45-second mark of the first period. The Blue Streaks added another goal four minutes later.
Temple freshman forward Brendan Ondick scored with five minutes left in the first off of an assist from senior forward Joey Powell. The goal was Ondick’s fifth of the season, giving him 11 points. The Owls’ second goal came with 25 seconds left in the game off of the stick of freshman forward John Dern.
John Carroll’s first power play goal came less than two minutes into the second period to push the lead to 3-1. Auerbach made a huge save shortly after in a one-on-one situation.
After John Carroll scored its fifth goal with less than two minutes left in the second, assistant coach Zach Jones, who handles goaltender decisions according to head coach Mark Spease, decided to go with Burkhardt to start the third. The team wanted him fresh for Saturday’s game against the Blue Streaks, Jones said.
“There’s no point in letting him face another 20 shots,” Jones said.
“I was expecting it,” Auerbach said. “You can ask any guy in the locker room, they’re gonna say we didn’t do our job tonight. It’s 5-1, we’re getting outshot two to one basically. Not really much of a game there. I probably, if I was in the coach’s position, I would have done the same thing.”
Burkhardt wanted to get settled and had the opportunity to do so after facing four quick shots to start the third. He allowed three goals on 27 shots.
The first goal Burkhardt allowed came off of on an odd-man rush that resulted from an intercepted breakout pass from the Temple blue line while the Owls were on the power play. The third goal, John Carroll’s eighth of the night, rolled over the line after Burkhardt got a piece of the puck while he was down from a previous scoring chance.
After allowing four goals in their first two games, the Owls have allowed 30 goals in their last six games.
“Last week penalties killed us in Oswego, and today they killed us,” Spease said. “We got a lot of fixing to do. That was probably the worst game of hockey they played all year, unfortunately. We’re supposed to be getting better every week, and we didn’t get better today.”