Owls fall to Virginia Tech

The team is now eliminated from playoff contention.

In an intensely physical and chippy contest, Temple lost 6-3 at Northeast Skatezone last night against Virginia Tech.

“Too many penalties,” coach Ryan Frain said. “Three power play goals against will bite you in the ass any game. Especially against a team like this that’s number three in the region.”

Temple struck first when junior forward Stephen Kennedy flipped a backhanded pass from behind the net to junior forward Pat Golden who netted the puck upper right corner to give the Owls a 1-0 halfway through the first period. It would be the only goal of the opening period.

The second period was completely dominated by Virginia Tech. Temple was not able to even register a shot on goal until 13 minutes in and even that was registered on the power play.

The Hokies went on a power play early in the second when freshman forward Justin McKenney was called for cross checking and Virginia Tech took full advantage, scoring in the first 24 seconds of the man advantage after a deflection in front of the net enabled Hokies sophomore forward Doug MacDonald to slide the puck past an out of position Owls senior goaltender Chris Mullen.

Shortly after, Virginia Tech scored again when junior forward Tyler Daley received a pass in the slot and shot it past Mullen low glove slide to take a 2-1 lead early in the still second period.

The Hokies would add one more before the end of the second with a slap shot from the blue line from sophomore defenseman Peter Veltri in the final minutes of the period and take a 3-1 lead going into the third.

“We came out flat,” Frain said. “The first period we were on our toes and Virginia Tech didn’t have their best period. And I told our guys ‘hey these guys are going to come out a lot better in the second and we got to match the intensity and come out flying’ but we kind of came out flat.”

Temple would start the third period much better. And sophomore forward Cody Vassa pulled the Owls within one when he scored three minutes and 39 seconds into the period.

But Virginia Tech answered quickly when senior forward Alex Hashmi was sprung on a breakaway and out deked Mullen going five-hole.

Soon after, physical play and scrums after the whistle got to a boiling point and Vassa was given a 10 minute game misconduct and was ejected from the game after yet another scrum after the whistle.

Temple would settle down though, and with the play calming, junior forward Brady O’Donnell elevated the puck past Virginia Tech senior goaltender Walker Detweiler to once again pull within one.

Yet once again, it would be short lived.

With Kennedy in the box for a slash, Veltri scored with a wrist shot from the point that found its way through traffic and into the net for yet another Virginia Tech power play goal, and retook a two goal lead.

The Hokies would add an empty netter, and end the game with a 6-3 victory.

“We dug ourselves a hole too deep with the penalties,” senior forward Joe Pisko said. “It’s been the routine all year long. I think guys were working hard but we just can’t get over that discipline hump.”

Temple will host its last home game of the season against Delaware, Friday night at 9:20 p.m.

Samuel Matthews can be reached at samuel.matthews@temple.edu or on Twitter @SJMatthews13.

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