When freshman forward Jayson Marbach joined Temple ice hockey, he already had a fan in former player and now assistant coach Ryan Frain.
Frain saw Marbach play for a few years while Marbach played with Frain’s brother, Nick Frain, at Archbishop Ryan High School.
“I first came in contact with [Marbach] a couple years ago,” Ryan Frain said. “I saw him play while he played with my brother. I kept track of him in high school and tried to pursue him keep him coming to Temple when he was looking at schools in the area.”
“I was going to go to [West Chester University] and things didn’t work out with that,” Marbach said. “So I applied to Temple and I got in and figured ‘Why not?’ It’s a great school.”
After graduating from Archbishop Wood, Marbach played for the Philadelphia Junior Flyers of the Atlantic Junior Hockey League for two seasons before joining Temple.
In a late-summer tryout that yielded several key acquisitions, Marbach was one of the bigger pickups to join coach Jerry Roberts’ squad.
A skilled forward listed as 6 foot, 215 pounds, Marbach has provided the physical presence that the Owls needed going forward this season.
“[Marbach] is fast, he’s strong and he’s got a lot of offensive skill,” Roberts said. “But what really makes him good is his aggressive style. He looks to go through people rather than go around them. He has skill but he’s willing to play blue collar hockey. That’s what makes him so effective.”
“I’m definitely more of a physical player,” Marbach said. “I always try to get that big first hit in the game and show teams that we’re ready to play.”
Not only can Marbach throw his body around, but he can score too.
With nine points in five games, Marbach is tied with junior forward and line mate Joe Pisko for the team lead in points.
It has been the line of Marbach, Pisko, and senior forward Chris Brennan that has been the story thus far, Roberts said.
“We’re pretty confident in that we haven’t scratched the surface in what they can be,” Roberts said. “Once they get in midseason form, they’re going to take off. It’ll be the first time in years that we’ve had an offensive line in which other teams have to have a game plan for.”
“It’s hard to believe the talent they have when they’re out there together,” Frain said. “They’re going to be tough to stop. Teams are going to adjust to them but I don’t even know if that’s going to help. They’re going to put up numbers when they’re out there.”
The trio found their form this past weekend in games with Montclair State and Penn State, accounting for seven of the eight Temple goals scored.
“You want to have different role players on a line and those three play really well together,” Ryan Frain said. “That’s going to be a line that we’re going to ride on this year and they’re our top three forwards. They’re the forwards we look for to contribute and they should want to be in that spot.”
“We all feed off each other and we’ve been playing well,” Marbach said. “We have potential to score a goal pretty much every shift we go out there.”
For a transitioning freshman such as Marbaich, it certainly doesn’t hurt to have the all-time leader in goals, assists and points for Temple in Ryan Frain available for guidance.
“[Frain] helped me out a lot especially when I first got here with the power play and the offense,” Marbach said. “He’s easy to talk to and he knows what he’s doing.”
“He’s always telling me what to do one on one, and how to make a smart play,” Marbach. “You can learn a lot from him. From his track record he knows what he’s talking about and every time he talks, you want to make sure you listen to him. He’s been great.”
Andrew Parent can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @daParent93.