In the second leg of back to back match-ups at Liberty University, Temple (4-2-2) fell to the Flames by a final of 6-1, in what has become a three-game losing skid for the Owls.
“Frustrating,” coach Ryan Frain said. “That’s probably about the only word to describe it. I considered last night a must win and we didn’t show up to play.”
Once again starting off periods and closing periods strong has been an issue for the Owls this year. Just like the previous night where Temple found themselves behind early, Liberty again started off stronger than Temple, scoring in the first three minutes and 30 seconds of the game. The Flames would tack on one more before the end of the period, taking a 2-0 lead into the second.
But it could’ve been worse.
“We were lucky to get out of the first period just down 2-0,” Frain said.
The lone bright spot for the Owls tonight was junior forward Stephen Kennedy, who scored his 10th of the season to start the second period and cut the Flames lead in half.
“I just wanted to get to the net with some energy for a loose puck,” Kennedy said. “And I found one in my feet [for the goal].”
“The kid just wants the puck on his stick,” Frain said. “And he wants to help this team win anyway he can.”
From that point on though, it all went downhill for the Owls.
Temple could not stay out of the penalty box and spent much of the second period on the penalty kill. With the Flames already up 3-1, Temple continually kept getting called for penalties and was forced to go two men down on back to back sequences. With that much time on the 5 on 3 power play, Liberty scored to take a 4-1 lead going into the third period.
“They were penalties that came out of frustration,” Frain said. “I don’t know what happened that last ten minutes [of the second period]. Guys were getting frustrated and started taking bad penalties to put them on the power play. We pretty much beat ourselves.”
The third period saw two more Liberty goals’ and the game ended in a 6-1 defeat for Temple.
Despite the teams’ current three-game losing streak, Frain remains confident about his team.
“I believe that we have the talent, the depth, and the team to get to nationals,” Frain said. “There is no doubt about it.”
The Owls will next be in action on Saturday night at 7 p.m. at St. Joseph’s, as they will try to turn their losing streak around.