Delaware strikes early, buries Owls

Games against Delaware have proved to be disastrous for the ice hockey club this season.

The first matchup forced Temple into 79 penalty minutes in a 6-2 loss on Dec. 12.

In a rematch Friday night, the Blue Hens held off a late-game rally to defeat Temple 7-4 at Delaware’s Gold Arena.

The Blue Hens used a four-goal output in the first period to put the Owls on their heels early in the game. Delaware’s game plan drew Temple’s defense away from its net to get a forward in on Temple goalie Eric Semborski.

“The first three goals were all back door and they had a guy wide open,” coach Ryan Frain said. “We didn’t have our heads on a swivel to be able to pick up that loose guy and it bit them in the rear three times in a row.”

Temple defenseman Ryan Dumbach was leveled a few minutes into the third period, for which Delaware was tagged with a five-minute misconduct.

The news was worse for Dumbach as he laid on the ice for several minutes before getting carried off on a stretcher. He was taken to the hospital with a possible head or neck injury.

“I think his head hit the boards pretty hard,” Frain said. “I know the EMT told me [Dumbach] had some tingling in his hands and some tingling in his face, so maybe he pinched something in his neck or something like that, but I will give him a call [Saturday] morning.”

The injury came after a second period in which the Owls got on the scoreboard, but conceded two more goals to Delaware. The large deficit led to Frain pulling Semborski in favor of Scott Salamon for the third period.

Frain also juggled some of his lines, including a shuffle that paired forwards Stephen Kennedy and Dave Brewer together. The move sparked some offense for the Owls, as Kennedy netted two of the team’s three goals in the frame, while Brewer claimed the other.

“It was just a matter of us waking up and playing like we know how,” Frain said of the team’s offensive pickup. “I know in the third period I switched up the lines a little bit to see if we could muster something up and we were able to do that.”

The Blue Hens are just one place in front of the Owls in the Division 2 rankings in the American Collegiate Hockey Association, but have outscored Temple 13-6 in two contests this season.

“[Delaware] really do have a good set of forwards on their squad, and they know how to put the puck in the net,” Frain said. “The first game, they were good on the power plays that they had and tonight, [we had] just a couple missed assignments down in our zone.”

Temple will play its regular-season finale Saturday night against the University of Maryland-Baltimore County at Northeast Skatezone.

“I think they are going to be ready and good to go,” Frain said of his team. “I think they built something the last two periods [Friday], and they built up some good momentum going into tomorrow. If we keep rolling with the work, we put forth in the last two periods going into tomorrow I don’t think we will have any problem.”

Stephen Godwin Jr. can be reached at stephen.godwin@temple.edu or on Twitter @StephenGodwinJr.

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