Temple forward sophomore Joey Powell and senior Stephen Kennedy scored shootout goals to help the Owls beat Drexel 4-3 at the Flyers Skate Zone Sunday. Kennedy and Powell followed up their impressive play from the night before when they each notched a hat trick.
“We just kept grinding,” Kennedy said. “We’re not going to win games just sitting back and sitting there in sorrow about what we’re up against. We just have to keep digging and hopefully it goes our way.”
The Dragons tied the game twice in the third period inside of four minutes and totaled 57 shots against Owls’ junior goalkeeper Hayden Richards.
“We battled the whole game,” Owls coach Roman Bussetti said. “A lot of their shots, I believe came on the power play. I felt like when we were out there we were able to generate offense, we held to the system, kept the third guy high, helped contain the offensive zone and kept them man-on-man down low.”
Richards received Bussetti’s “player-of-the-game award” for rebounding from giving up five goals against Montclair State Oct. 11. At one point Sunday, Richards stopped 29 straight shots.
“I’m 5 foot-5 inches, I write 5-foot-7 inches on things, but I’m not,” Richards said. “So I get out of my crease and cut off the angles as much as possible. My asset’s quickness, so I can get out of the crease and I’m alright moving back, but I have to get out of the crease and block as much of the net as possible.”
The two teams played to a scoreless tie in the first period. Drexel totaled 15 shots, but the Owls kept pace with nine of their own. Kennedy nearly broke the tie with three minutes left, but saw his shot deflect off the post.
After a Drexel goal in the second period, the Owl’s junior defenseman Matt Krulikowski helped his team answer when he outraced the Dragon’s defense and passed to Powell for the tying score. Krulikowski found sophomore forward James Milanesi minutes later, who tallied a goal for the 2-1 lead.
Drexel tied the game at 2 with three minutes left, but Temple regained the lead when forward John Kumpf tallied a goal. The Dragons again scored the equalizer with 53 seconds left to send the game into overtime..
Drexel dominated overtime by outshooting the Owls 6-1, but Richards blanked the Dragons.
“I think the guys are tired of losing and I think they wanted to keep winning and go out and play hard because they knew they had success early on,” Bussetti said of his team’s relentlessness. “We can play with them, but we can’t take shifts off and we can’t miss hits and can’t miss passes.”
The game was eerily similar to last year’s matchup against the Dragons at the Flyer’s Skate Zone when the Dragons tied the Owls with less than three minutes remaining. Temple’s forward and captain Greg Malinowski, scored the shootout winner to break a 5-5 tie.
“We’re rivals man,” Krulikowski said. “We come out and we want to put each other through the boards. We want to win these games and Drexel, I don’t want to say I hate them because there’s a lot of the guys on the team I’m friends with, but Temple and Drexel is a big matchup.
Stephen Godwin Jr. can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @StephenGodwinJr
Starting goaltender Scott Salamon failed his concussion test on Friday and sat out for the fourth-consecutive game. Defenseman Aron Litostanksi also sat out for the second straight game.