Temple ice hockey relied on two unlikely heroes this past weekend in a two-game weekend sweep.
Temple first knocked off the College of New Jersey on Friday 5-2 and then outlasted Lehigh University by a 3-2 score in an eight-round shootout Sunday.
Junior forward Pat Schramm netted two goals on Friday to lead Temple, and freshman forward Jayson Marbaich scored his first collegiate goal.Senior forward Chris Johnson and sophomore forward Brady O’Donnell also had goals for the Owls.
Sophomore goalie Eric Semborski got the start and allowed two goals on 27 shots.
After a relatively easy win Friday, Temple took on an ACHA Division One team in Lehigh, a team that Temple had never beaten.
After nearly two periods of a scoreless battle, freshman forward Greg Malinowski scored the game’s first goal in his Temple debut, after joining the team only six days prior.
Despite months of no game action and joining the team late, Malinowski appeared to adjust with little problem in his first game in a Temple uniform.
“[The adjustment] wasn’t that bad,” Malinowski said.“My first shift was terrible because I haven’t played a game in a while. But after the first shift I was fine and I played with good players that made me look better. It made the adjustment pretty smooth.”
After Lehigh tied it at one halfway through the third, senior defenseman Andrew Trainor was called for a holding penalty while trying to stop a Lehigh breakaway.
“That type of play occurred multiple times throughout the game and it wasn’t called,” coach Jerry Roberts said.“It was frustrating for [the referees] to call it then when they didn’t call it all game,”
Lehigh scored on the ensuing powerplay, at which point junior goalie Chris Mullen voiced his displeasure about the Trainor penalty, and was promptly slapped with a 10 minute misconduct.As per NCAA rules, which were upheld in the game against Lehigh, a goalie given a game misconduct must sit out during the penalty.
After Semborski came on to replace Mullen, Joe Pisko answered with a goal to pull Temple back even at two with less than five minutes remaining in regulation. The Owls were able to take it to a five minute overtime period and eventually a shootout from there.
“We got our confidence back,” Pisko said.“Everybody was fired up to get another goal to finish it off and Semborski answered the call in the shootout.”
Freshmen Malinowski and Marbaich scored among others in an eight round shootout that eventually ended with a goal from junior forward Dave Brewer and the final save from Semborski to clinch the win.
“We felt we controlled the entire game,” Roberts said.“[Lehigh] scored their two goals relatively quickly. We called a timeout after they scored their second goal and reminded our guys that we controlled this entire game and it was still our game.
“Pisko’s line went right out there and scored [after the timeout],” Roberts added.“Once we tied it, we felt like we were right back in control and we weren’t surprised of the outcome. We were excited about it but we felt like it was our game.”
For Roberts, one of the most impressive aspects of the weekend was the performance of Semborski, who, on top of starting Friday, came into Sunday’s game into a tight spot from the start.
“He hadn’t seen a puck, stretched or done anything for two hours and to be called on to finish out a game like that, that’s one of the hardest things to do in hockey,” Roberts said.“He went in and the players felt comfortable with him in net. Once he faced the first few shots from Lehigh, we knew he was fine.”
“You always prepare the game the same if you’re starting or not,” Semborski said. You’re ready for the call if you’re backing up because anything can happen. If you do get in there, you try to get the juices flowing and get focused as fast as you can.”
The increased competition in goal benefits both goaltenders, Roberts said.
“[Semborski] made a huge statement this weekend,” Roberts said. He’s a lot further than we expected him to be at this point. Semborski’s playing better and he’s forcing Mullen to play better.”
“Mullen deserves credit too,” Roberts added.We had some physical concerns with him because of an injury last year and he’s been in great shape. He’s played better than we thought he would too. We’re excited about goaltenders so far.”
Temple (3-0) will take the ice Saturday against Montclair State University at Northeast Skatezone. Game time is set for 8:30 pm.
Andrew Parent can be reached at email@example.com or on twitter @daParent93.