Owls penalty kill fuels win

Temple killed 10 penalties in its 2-1 win against Villanova Sunday.

Owl’s defenseman John Anthony headed to the penalty box to join his fellow defenseman Aron Litostanski, who was tagged with a penalty 42 seconds earlier.

Coach Roman Bussetti responded by sending forward Stephen Kennedy and defensemen Patrick Hanrahan and Ryan Dumbach on the ice to defend Villanova’s powerplay.

It would be the first of three two-man advantages for the Wildcats in the second period.

Temple’s killed the two penalites, along with eight other,  to preserve a 2-1 against Villanova Sunday at the Hatfield Ice Arena.

“They didn’t give away the middle [of the ice],” Bussetti said. “They skated hard and they fought when they got to the puck. If they had time they got it they could get it out. If not they had the support on the opposite side and they could get it out that way.”

Kennedy and forward Dan Nucero scored for the second-consecutive game and the team outshot Villanova 29-23.

Some of the players attended Villanova’s  game against Drexel Saturday and relayed information to Bussetti about the Wildcat’s style of play. Bussetti and his staff responded with an emphasis on being physical out on the ice.

“That was the biggest thing coming into this game,” Nucero said about Temple’s play style. “I don’t think we hit enough last game. We came out today flying. We were hitting everybody out there. It kind of kept them on their toes and scared them a little bit and we were able to capitalize on it.”

Bussetti said he being physical as a part of hockey, but knows that element could be used against the team by other teams.

“For the most part I think it was a relatively clean game,” Bussetti said. “I didn’t see any major cheap shots out there. A couple roughs here and there, but that’s college hockey. I would like to get my guys away from and keep my guys focused on hockey, but Rome wasn’t built in a day.”

The Owls also forced the Wildcats into nine penalties as Temple routinely got open behind the Villanova defense. The pressure led to Kennedy’s goal in the first period.

Nucero scored an insurance goal when an Eric Graham shot rebounded off Wildcats goalie Nathaniel Brose.

“It was kind of similar to last game,” Nucero said. “I went hard to the net. I took a shot and it went right off the goalie’s pads and I was just right there to crash the net and get the rebound.”

Temple goalie Scott Salamon rejected 23 Villanova shots and rebounded from allowing eight goals Friday against Drexel.

“I felt the same all three games,” Salamon said. “When you are getting 40 some shots, you start to get tired. Tonight I think was under 25, so I just had a lot more energy and that’s good.”

Temple preserves its winning streak against Villanova, who have not beat the Owls since 2005 in the Liberty Bell Tournament.

“I don’t know if it’s just one thing,” defenseman Jason Lombardi said who played in four of those games. “Some teams just happen to have other team’s number. For whatever reason maybe we get under their skin with how physical we are. They’re good games and we’d love to keep beating them.”

Stephen Godwin can be reached at stephen.godwin@temple.edu or on Twitter @StephenGodwinJr.

Loose Pucks

Forward Matt Krulikowski will miss two weeks with an upper body injury he sustained Friday.

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