Temple’s defense kept pace with Penn State’s offense through the first period Friday night, but its offense never showed up.
The Nittany Lions broke a scoreless tie in the second period by scoring six goals in route to a 9-1 win at the Flyers Skate Zone.
“We stopped playing,” coach Roman Bussetti said. “It’s the same thing as usual. That is our MO right now. We don’t have a lot of guns going full speed right now. Come the second period, we’re exhausted and we get a goal down on us and we seem to play blame hockey. Everyone wants to tell each other that it’s their fault. We just have to come together and work a little bit harder [and] a little bit smarter.”
Third-string goalie Zachary Burkhardt started the game for Temple (2-6) and collected 18 saves.
Temple’s penalty troubles sparked the Nittany Lions when the Owls second penalty of the game led to Penn State tallying the initial goal. Penn State scored on three of its eight power play oppertunities.
“We took a lot of penalties again,” Bussetti said. “Whether teams are out for us or we’re just a step slower and refs keep catching us on our retaliation. Whatever it is we are taking a lot of penalties. You can’t take penalties and be successful.”
Penn State added two more goals against Burkhardt, and three goals in the last two minutes of the second period. Backup goalkeeper Hayden Richards started the third period.
The Owls began the final frame by outshooting the Nittany Lions after being held to 10 shots in the first two periods. The momentum created a power play that resulted in a goal from defenseman Patrick Hanrahan.
The injuries troubles for Temple continue to mount. Defenseman Aron Litostanski left the game with a concussion and has been ruled out for Saturday’s game. Forwards James Milanasi and Alex Kempinski also left the game with apparent injuries. The losses of defensemen John Anthony, Matt Krulikowski, Ryan Dumbach and Aron Litostanski has forced Bussetti to use forwards John Kumpf and Justin McKenney as defensemen.
“I have four missing on defense and half [my] team has never played college hockey,” Bussetti said. “They’re not used to this. They’re not used to the physical style. It’s going to be dog days for a little bit until we can get everybody on the same page.”
“I just think we have so many guys hurt right now that we lacked chemistry,
sophomore forward Patrick Devlin said. “We had different lines playing different positions.”
Stephen Godwin Jr. can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @StephenGodwinJr