Injuries and fatigue caught up with the Owls as they suited up less than 24 hours following their 6-5 overtime win against Pittsburgh Friday night.
Temple was also without defensemen John Anthony, Aron Litostanski and forwards Matt and Phil Vassile. Anthony left the previous night with a separated shoulder and Krulikowski and Vassile continue to recover from other upper body injuries. Litostanski missed the game for personal reasons.
The Panthers took advantage with 51 shots in an 8-2 victory at the Alpha Ice Complex.
“We didn’t have any energy,” coach Roman Bussetti said. We did a lot of reaching and there were a lot of lost battles and a lot of lost races.”
Forward Ryan Rosato did most of the damage for Pittsburgh with two goals. Fellow forward Daniel Mertz also had a goal and three assists in the route.
The Panthers defense also limited the Owls to 19 shots.
“They clogged up the middle, they blocked a lot of our shots and a lot of our opportunities,” Bussetti said. “We just played slow. They were able to get back on us and neutralize our forecheck in the defensive zone. Without a good forecheck we weren’t able to cause any turnovers at all.”
Aiding the Pittsburg assault was Temple’s penalty trouble, as the team totaled 21 penalties. The Panthers scored three of their goals with a man advantage.
“I wouldn’t say it’s necessarily them goading us into penalties,” defenseman Patrick Hanrahan said. “I think some of the calls just didn’t go our way. Every little scrum in front of the net we were the ones going to the box.”
The Panthers jumped out to another 4-0 lead for the second-consecutive night, but did not look back this time, as they finished the first period with a 5-0 lead.
“They battled, and they didn’t want to give up that four-goal lead again,” Hanrahan said. “They just kept the pedal down and we weren’t able to match their intensity through the end of the game.”
Hanrahan spoiled the shutout for Pittsburgh goalie Ben Cirba, when he scored off a pass from forward Stephen Kennedy. Kennedy added his own tally a few minutes later, but the momentum was halted, as the team could not chip any further into the Panthers’ lead.
Temple goalie Scott Salamon gave way to backup Hayden Richards when the score was 5-0. Salamon has been roughed up so far this season giving up an average of 4.6 goals a game.
Bussetti said at Wednesday’s practice the goaltender job is Salamon’s as long as he wants it and the team also sounds confident in Salamon.
“I think it’s a testament that he’s always able to bounce back,” Hanrahan said. “He bounced back right after that Drexel game against Villanova, and even though he gave up five [goals] last night, they were team goals. They weren’t Scott goals.”
Stephen Godwin Jr. can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @StephenGodwinJr