Two goals in 2 minutes, 35 seconds.
That’s all Drexel needed to win the first City 6 tournament as center Stephen Villa and Chris Rodrigue netted back-to-back goals for the Dragons late in the third quarter of their 2-1 win over the Owls Sunday at Penn’s Class of 1923 Arena.
“It’s frustrating,” coach Ryan Frain said. “You lead the entire game and play well, and it’s just unfortunate to end up on the losing end.”
The Owls previously led for 55 minutes before Villa took a pass from right winger Nick Lombardi and skated in on Temple goalie Eric Semborski before scoring the equalizer.
The Owls attempted to regroup, but a scramble in front of Semborski allowed Rodrigue to sneak in the go-ahead-goal off defenseman John Quigley’s rebound.
The majority of the game was controlled by the Dragons as they blasted 35 shots on Semborski. It wasn’t until the third period that the Owls reawakened offensively to get quality shots against Drexel goalie Zach Kantner.
Semborski was bolstered by his defensemen for much of the game as Chris Carnivale and Jason Lombardi canceled out a number of odd-man rushes.
The game was physical in nature as the Dragons relied on the hard hitting approach to win battles for the puck. An initial goal by Drexel was disallowed after the Dragons had crashed into Semborski’s net prior to the puck entering the net.
Tensions grew when Lombardi knocked off the helmet of Semborski with his stick following a save. The senior goalie climbed from his knees after the cheap shot and jawed with Lombardi. A number of players scuffled after the play, but only Owls forward Joey Powell and the Dragons Zach Para were sent to the penalty box.
Forward Greg Malinowski scored a power play goal in the first period to open the scoring. Forward Dave Brewer had fired a slap shot into a crowded circle of players that was batted at by freshman forward Devon Thomas, before it was chipped in by Malinowski.
The man-advantage goal came after the Owls had failed to score on two previous opportunities and finished the game 1 for 5 with the extra attacker.
Temple forward Steve Kennedy leads the team with six shots, but was unable to solve Kamdner.
“[It’s] a hard loss, but it’s the first loss of the season,” Malinowski said. “We just [have to] to ride the highs and lows and we’ll be fine. We are a special team.”
Frain said he thought part of the loss was attributed to the Owls playing in their third game of the weekend. The team was playing just 15 hours after dispatching second-seeded Villanova in overtime.
Drexel was playing in just their second game of the event after a bye on Friday for being the top seed.
“I told these guys if we play with the same effort we did this weekend, we are not going to have many of these losses,” Frain said.
Stephen Godwin Jr. can be reached at Stephen.firstname.lastname@example.org or twitter @StephenGodwinJr.