The ice hockey club prepares for postseason.
It was the same result, different week for the ice hockey club as the Owls made the 45-minute drive south of the city to take on the Delaware Blue Hens before a 5-4 shootout loss on Friday night.
Temple, coming off a shootout loss to William Paterson on Feb. 4, was looking to take the momentum from that game and end the season on a high note prior to playoffs. After that game, coach Jerry Roberts was impressed with his team as they showed up with great speed and intensity, something they lacked for most of the season. That same team showed up Friday, ready to play.
“We got over our biggest hurdle which was guys not playing with passion and drive,” Roberts said. “It is a reason we have been playing so well as of late.”
The first period ended scoreless while the total shots were 11-8 in favor of the Owls. Sophomore goalie Chris Mullen got the start for Temple and came up big for the team all night, making some sprawling saves.
“Mullen played a solid game tonight,” junior defenseman Matt Benedetto said.
After a second and third period of back-to-back scoring the Owls were down by one when junior forward Nick McMahon netted a goal with 34 seconds left, tying the game at four, sending it into overtime.
Other Temple goals were scored by freshman forward Brady O’Donnell, senior forward George Rutter and senior forward Jim McKenzie. At the end of overtime, the game was still tied, forcing it into a shootout.
The shootout lasted five rounds when Delaware freshman forward Joe Bastone scored to give the Hens a 5-4 win.
“It was a little disappointing but I think we need to look at the positives,” Roberts said. “I thought it was nice to see us fighting at the end in the final minute. Obviously the overtime and the shootout wasn’t the way we wanted it to end but all in all it wasn’t terrible.”
Roberts said the team has confidence going into the Mid-Atlantic Collegiate Hockey Association playoffs, which start Friday.
“If you take a look at the record, we played a lot of top teams,” Benedetto said. “I can’t say not to go off the record because obviously the wins and losses speak for themselves, but I think now were starting to peak.”
The Owls ended the regular season with a record of 9-17.
“In the regular season you can get by in not losing games but in playoffs you actually have to win games,” Roberts said. “You actually have to be the team that wins the game as opposed to not being the team that loses it.”
The Owls are set to take on Delaware again in the first round of the MACHA playoffs on Friday at 7:30 p.m. at the Canlan Ice Sports in Vineland, N.J.
Sam Grinnan can be reached at email@example.com.