The season didn’t start off the way first-year coach Ryan Frain hoped.
“I’m a little disappointed,” Frain said after the 1-0 loss to Maryland on Saturday. “I was happy with a lot of the things we did, but there are definitely one or two things that need to be adjusted.”
Last year, the Owls lost to the University of Maryland Terrapins, which realistically eliminated them from playoff contention. Maryland ended up finishing one spot ahead of Temple in the Mid-Atlantic Collegiate Hockey Association standings, taking the final playoff spot in the process of making a run to nationals. Another loss to Maryland this year makes it all the more bitter for this squad.
“I mean, it sucks,” senior goaltender Chris Mullen said. “It was a tough loss. We came out strong, but then didn’t show up at the start of the second period and that’s where we lost the game.”
There is no doubt that revenge against the Terrapins for last year was on the mind of every returning Owl on the ice.
“I hate them,” sophomore forward Greg Malinowski said before the game. “They’re not really a skilled team. They’re just a real chippy team.”
And as expected, Saturday night’s game also had its share of chippy moments.
“Even more [chippy moments] than I expected,” Malinowski said. “Because that’s the only way they could take us off our game. It was our first game though, so the discipline will come.”
Despite dropping an early lead in the first period and falling behind by as many as three goals, the Owls were able to bounce back and tie up the game to send it into overtime, before surrendering the overtime goal and once again losing to Maryland.
“We showed resilience to come back,” Mullen said. “And the team gelled well.”
When asked if Saturday night’s loss furthered the hate felt for the University of Maryland, Malinowski said, “Yes and no. The game was totally in our hands. We didn’t play the whole 60 minutes and got cocky after the first period. It takes 60 minutes to win a game, but you can lose it in four.”
Forward Stephen Kennedy scored his first career goal in a Temple Owls uniform in the first period, which gave Temple an early 1-0 lead. The junior from Ambler, Pa., previously attended Montgomery County Community College before graduating and coming to Temple.
“It felt good,” Kennedy said. “It gave me a bit of confidence, settled my nerves down a little bit. But really it was an awesome play by the defensemen to hit me on the backdoor pass. I was all by myself. It was all the ‘D’-man’s play, I was just in the right place at the right time, and he gave me a perfect pass.”
Kennedy also netted another goal later in the contest.
According to the team though, this most recent loss to Maryland is going to sting. Not being able to get revenge on the Terrapins for how last season went down is not something the players are taking lightly.
“As far as revenge goes,” Mullen said, “We’ll see them again.”
Despite the opening loss, the Owls recovered with a 6-5 win against Montclair State in overtime the next night.
Samuel Matthews can be reached at email@example.com..