The Temple club hockey team skated around the ice firing shot after shot at the team’s two freshman backup goalies to prepare them for the two most important games of the season.
The Owls’ last two Eastern Collegiate Hockey Association games are against Lehigh University. Temple, who has lost four straight games, needs to win both to earn a playoff spot this season.
Temple’s chances fall on freshmen goalies Joey Galitski’s and Steven Glik’s shoulders. Temple’s usual starter, senior goalie Benjamin Auerbach, suffered a concussion at practice three weeks ago.
“It’s hard to see any player get hurt, especially [Auerbach] who has been around for four years like me. He’s obviously a dedicated and passionate player, and it affects the whole team,” said Charles Ghiazza, a senior forward and captain. “We have two good backup goalies, both freshmen, and we are going to have to rally behind them.”
Glik helped the Owls beat West Virginia University, 2-1, on Jan. 26 with a 46-save performance. Then Galitski had 34 saves on 40 shots against Penn State Berks in an overtime loss on Feb. 1.
Temple played against Liberty University on Feb. 8 and Feb. 9 in Lynchburg, Virginia. Liberty is not in Temple’s division so the games do not affect their playoff chances.
On Feb. 8, the Owls lost 9-1. Galitski played all 60 minutes and saved 55 shots on 64 attempts. On Feb. 9, Temple lost 2-0, but the team has not released that game’s statistics as of Monday.
Auerbach has been a role model and support for both freshmen.
“He has been helping us from the start,” Galitski said. “He will see me struggle sometimes and he points out my mistakes and gives me tips on the little things to help out. Plus he is always there for me when I’m playing to tell me I’m doing a good job.”
Both goalies know what it’s like to battle for a starting spot, they said.
Galitski fought for a starting position at West Chester East High School.
“It sucked, but it ticked me off and I just started playing,” Galitski said. “I started sophomore year, and since then I have gotten better and better.”
Glik had to battle it out with another goalkeeper on the Philadelphia Revolution, a junior travel team.
Coach Pat Carroll has been rotating the two goaltenders since Auerbach’s last game, which was a 60-save performance in a 5-2 loss to Villanova on Jan. 18.
Ghiazza has not lost hope for these upcoming games.
“We have a fun road trip over to Virginia where we are gonna stay for two nights and have some fun,” Ghiazza said. “But then we have two huge league games coming up right after, the chemistry is there and that’s what we really try to rally around.”
EDITOR’S NOTE: Sports Editor Jay Neemeyer is a reporter for Temple club ice hockey. He played no part in the writing and editing of this story.