The club ice hockey team defeats St. Joe’s, but falls to Montclair State.
The ice hockey club finished this past weekend with a win at St. Joseph’s on Saturday and a loss to Montclair State on Sunday.
The Owls out-played the Hawks Saturday. Sophomore goalie Chris Mullen got the start and allowed one goal, as Temple skated past St. Joe’s earning a 5-1 win. Goals were scored by senior forward Taylor Lockhart, senior forward George Rutter, junior forward Joe Pisko, freshman forward Brady O’Donnell and with his first colligate goal, freshman defenseman Chris Carnivalle.
Coming off the win on Saturday, the Owls took on the Red Hawks of Montclair State on Sunday. Temple started off the game with intensity but suffered when it came to getting shots on net, playing many of their possessions in the neutral zone.
“We got off to a slow start,” coach Jerry Roberts said. “We were outshot 14-2 in the first period so it’s hard to win a hockey game when you only play for 40 minutes.”
Despite being outshot, the Owls ended the first period tied at zero, thanks to a few great saves by senior goalie Will Neifeld.
The Red Hawks broke through in the second period and scored one goal, giving Montclair a one-goal advantage going into the third period.
A late third-period penalty led to a Montclair power play goal, giving them a two-goal lead. In a last effort to win, Temple pulled Neifeld, but it proved too little too late as the Red Hawk tallied an empty net goal, ending the game 3-0.
“My biggest concern with discipline in not necessarily penalties, as much as it is the discipline to execute our game plan,” Roberts said. “That’s what’s hurting us the most.”
Defensively, junior defenseman Matt Benedetto helped to keep the puck mostly in the Owls possession, while senior forward Jim McKenzie stood out offensively, setting up a lot of chances for Temple.
“We played good in the second and third,” Lockhart said. “We got shots through, but they have an awesome tender.”
Montclair’s graduate goalie Kevin Fox was the other goalie, along with Temple’s Neifeld, who was part of the American Collegiate Hockey Association Division II Select Team, which traveled to Europe during winter break to compete against professional teams.
The Owls look to put the loss behind them quickly, as the season is close to an end and playoffs are just around the corner.
“It deflates us today, but motivates us tomorrow,” Lockhart said. “We’re going to lose some games, we can’t win them all.”
“Our players need to buy in, and we need to focus on executing properly.” Roberts added. “This game was just a wakeup call.”
The Owls have three regular season games left, including two home next weekend verse Rowan and William Paterson and an away game the following weekend at Delaware, before the start of Mid-Atlantic Collegiate Hockey Association playoffs on Feb. 17.
“We just need to keep rolling,” Lockhart said.
“We need to stay focused for 60 minutes,” Roberts added. “If we stay focused, never get comfortable, and stay on our toes, we will be ready for anything.”
The Owls currently hold the eighth spot in the Southeast Region in the ACHA. The Top 2 teams from each region get a bid to nationals and teams ranked 3-10 compete at regionals, which begin Feb. 25, with a chance to advance to nationals.
Sam Grinnan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.