The men’s ice hockey team opened up its season with a 6-5 overtime loss to the University of Maryland tonight, in what was Ryan Frain’s first game as coach of the Owls.
“I’m a little disappointed,” Frain said. “I was happy with a lot of the things we did, but there are definitely one or two things that need to be adjusted.”
Temple started the contest off strong, opening up the scoring and taking a 1-0 lead into the end of the first period on what was junior forward Stephen Kennedy’s first career goal as a Temple Owl. Kennedy previously attended Montgomery County Community College before graduating and coming to Temple.
“It felt good,” Kennedy said. “It gave me a bit of confidence, settled my nerves down a little bit. But really it was an awesome play by the defensemen to hit me on the backdoor pass. I was all by myself. It was all the ‘D’ man’s play, I was just in the right place at the right time and he gave me a perfect pass.”
The lead was short lived however, as the Terrapins caught the Owls flat at the start of the second period and answered right back with four unanswered goals, taking a 4-1 lead.
“I think a lot of it was that the guys got comfortable,” Frain said. “We worked hard for the first 20 minutes and going into the locker room with a 1-0 lead maybe we got satisfied. And then the first ten minutes of the second period we came out flat. And that’s why I’ve been harping on the fact that the effort has got to be there the whole 60 minutes.”
The Owls didn’t give up on the second period though. And responded with goals first by junior defensemen Sean Ermigiotti and then by junior forward Phil Vassilev to make it a 4-3 game going into the third period.
Once again it was Maryland that started off the following period strong, scoring early to take a 5-3 lead but then once again it was Temple fighting back, scoring twice more to tie it up at the end of regulation. This time it was sophomore defensemen Jason Lombardi with the honors to bring the team within one and then Kennedy lit the lamp again for his second of the night to tie the game up with 5:22 left to play in regulation.
In overtime though, the Owls ultimately did fall, as the Terrapins slipped the game winner past senior goaltender Chris Mullen to seal the victory for Maryland.
The Owls will look to bounce right back with a victory tomorrow as they take on Montclair State in what will be Temple’s home opener at Northeast SkateZone. The puck is scheduled to drop at 2:40 p.m.