A lack of speed and early sloppiness proved to be too much for ice hockey against Virginia Tech on Friday.
The ice hockey team suffered another tough loss Friday night against Virginia Tech, losing 3-1.
“We need to get back to the basics,” coach Jerry Roberts said.
The Owls, now sitting at 1-9, started the game off slow and spent little time in the Virginia Tech zone. With only two minutes and fifty-two seconds remaining in the first period, Virginia Tech junior forward James Lazzarotti snuck the puck past Temple senior goalie Will Neifeld, giving the Hokies a one-goal lead at the end of the first.
Although Temple only suffered a one- goal deficit going into the second, the Owls were still out shot 16-7 with very little drive on the power play, going 0 for 2 in the first period.
The Owls picked up the intensity in the second, and with 2:06 left in the period, sophomore forward Matt Topley got the Owls on the board with a power play goal assisted by freshman forward Brady O’Donnell and junior defenseman Sean Ermigiotti.
“[Virginia Tech] were breaking out and [O’Donnell] who came around the wing, so I backed off the goalie and [O’Donnell] found me for the shot,” Topley said.
Despite being outshot 14 to 10 in the second period, the game was tied going into the third.
“Late goals get the team pumped up, so we have to try to build off it and hope that the first shift out, the guys go skating hard,” Topley said.
Both teams came out swinging in the third and Virginia Tech took the lead early with 16:01 left in the in the period as sophomore forward Zack Walz netted a power play goal off assists from senior forward Andres Morales and freshman defenseman Alec Burgman.
The Owls finally began to match the Hokies’ intensity as things got heated between teams as Topley and Virginia Tech junior forward Paul Wydler both received five minute majors from fighting and were ejected from the remainder of the game.
While Temple was able to pick up the speed late in the third, Virginia Tech’s defense proved to be too much for the Owls and Walz got his second goal of the game with only seconds remaining , unassisted on an empty net.
“Our pregame preparation needs to improve. We cannot wait 20 minutes to start playing. It takes 60 minutes at this level to win a game, and taking that 20 off just isn’t going to help,” Roberts said.
“It honestly just needs to be there,” senior forward Taylor Lockhart said about the lack of intensity. “If you’re a hockey player, you come into a game and its intensity all the way. From the drop of the puck you need to get going and go hard.”
Another problem for the Owls came on the power play, only converting 1 out of 8 and spending most of their time in their own zone.
“We’ve made a lot of strides on the power play, we’ve tried to set up a few things, be a little more structured, we’re just not moving the puck fast enough,” Roberts said.
“It seems to work in practice, but you come out in the game and maybe guys have their hands too tight on their stick or some people are just looking to be to hero,” Lockhart said.
“It’s just not clicking,” Topley said. “Whatever it is were just not making crisp passes or finding the open man.”
Temple was outshot 41 to 25 after three periods of play.
“It’s another game, another day. We have to wake up and tonight’s game has to just be a distance memory,” Lockhart said. “We know were good.”
“We just need to get the win.” Topley added. “I think once we get the win, attitudes are going to change.”
The Owls look to gain a win Saturday night when they take on Liberty University.
Samantha Grinnan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org