Despite slow start, Owls defeat Wagner

Temple netted seven unanswered goals through the final two periods in a 10-5 win.

Coach Ryan Frain gave his team 40 minutes to fix its problem.

The Owls had just been victimized by two goals from Wagner forward Anthony DeCicco and trailed 4-2 off 23 shots allowed after one period.

The Temple squad responded with seven unanswered goals as forward Steve Kennedy led the way with a hat trick in a 10-5 rout of Wagner Friday night at Northeast Skate Zone.

It was the Owls first win in six games and their first game back at home since Sept. 21.

“It’s huge,” Frain said. “A six-game losing streak, I can’t even remember if that even happened when I was playing here or when I was coaching, but it’s in the past and we will take it one game at a time.”

The onslaught started when Temple defender Jason Lombardi stroked a no-look pass to score Kennedy on an opening-period powerplay.

“We came out flat footed in the first period and we addressed that as a problem,” Kennedy said. “We knew that against the guys we were playing against, we really had to come out fast.”

Wagner controlled play following the initial Temple surge, but on a transition cycle forward Brady O’Donnell found the back of the net to even the score.

Momentum continued to carry for the Owls when defender Patrick Hanrahan slid a rebound behind Wagner goalie Steven Sedlmaier for a 5-4 lead.

Temple forward Dave Brewer and defender Chris Carnivale scored less than a minute apart to extend the lead to 8-4 to finish the second period.

The Owls transformation was rooted in their elevated aggressiveness toward their opposition.

“We were just moving our feet, throwing the body, getting pucks on net, and just giving the physical [nature] right back to those guys,” Frain said.

The comeback was made possible by Temple goalie Scott Salamon limiting Wagner to one goal on 36 shots in the final two frames.

“During the first period I got kind of rattled after a couple of those goals so during the first intermission I just refocused and locked it down,” Salamon said.

Temple forward Cody Vassa stole the puck at the beginning of the third period and scored to signal the start of a physical period. The majority of the scrums stemmed from an irritated Wagner team that knew the game was well out of hand.

Twenty-one penalties were called in the game, but 16 came in the third period. The Owls were flagged with 38 penalty minutes, while Wagner collected 26 minutes.

Wagner was awarded four powerplays in the period, but only cashed in on one on a 5-on-3 opportunity. For the game each team recorded three powerplay goals.

Near the end of the period, forward Justin McKenney scored the game’s concluding goal that resulted in a melee between the multiple players. Mckenney was blamed for the scrum’s initiation and was ejected.

An official later admitted he made a mistake with the move as he mistook who started the confrontation. Fellow forward Brady O’Donnell was later ejected with a few seconds left.

Frain does not condone taking penalties, but said he does not mind his team’s physicality at times.

“It’s part of the game,” Frain said. “I think it was pretty evenly called penalty wise and that’s fine with me. I kind of like it because I feel like it gets us into the game a little bit more.”

The Owls do not have long to celebrate this victory as they are already talking about their date with Rider Saturday night at 8 p.m.

Loose notes

The game had nearly 100 shots as Wagner recorded 59 and Temple had 40 … Members of the Temple lacrosse team showed up to support the team in the stands during the win.

Stephen Godwin Jr. can be reached at or on Twitter @StephenGodwinJr.

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