The Owls fell to No. 6 Rowan University, 5-4, in overtime yesterday afternoon, helped by Profs defenseman Nicholas Fowler’s goal and assist Sunday at the Northeast Skate Zone.
Fowler scored the tying goal with 21 seconds left in regulation to force the extra period. Fowler then assisted on the winning goal to forward Shane Brennan with 1 minute, 45 seconds left.
A critical non-call on Temple defenseman Chris Carnivale in the final minute happened prior to Brennan’s score. Carnivale recovered the puck and attempted to clear it, but was tripped and it allowed Rowan to fire the shot into a crowded circle of players. The puck caromed around before bouncing off a player’s leg and passed Owls goalie Eric Semborski.
Brennan’s score capped a contest that featured a Temple rally from a 3-1 deficit, as the Owls took a 4-3 lead halfway through the third period.
“I think it’s just that we weren’t out of it,” forward Brady O’Donnell said. “We were only down two goals and there was still a lot of hockey to play. They got a couple bounces that went their way so we just wanted to stick to our game plan, keep crashing the net and it ended up working out and we were able to get back into a tie.”
Owls forward Patrick Golden was sidelined for the game due to a one-game disqualification for starting a fight with Delaware Friday night that led to multiple players being involved. Defenseman Matt Krulikowski is currently being worked out as a forward and assumed Golden’s spot.
“He is a big factor for that line,” O’Donnell said. “He’s the guy that will go to the corner and dig that puck out and find Kennedy or Powell. I think they missed him today.”
O’Donnell scored the initial goal for the Owls when he teamed with Carnivale to score a short-handed goal on Rowan goalie Cody Reilly.
Temple’s momentum was short-lived as it struggled to get the puck out of its zone against Rowan’s defense, and soon gave up two-consecutive goals.
“They were just getting the puck deep and looking low and when they got the puck they were sending two hard, so it was really creating a problem for us to get the puck out of our zone,” defenseman Anthony Civitella said. “We knew this was their third game of the weekend so we tried to run them down for the third period.”
Rookie forward Joey Powell ignited the rally when he scored later in the second period to get his team within one.
Forward Dave Brewer tied the game nearly six minutes into the third period, and defenseman Ryan Dumbach soon scored on a screen in front of Reilly.
“It’s always about keeping crashing the net and get guys in front,” O’Donnell said. “[The] coaching staff has stressed that a lot to keep guys in front. I remember when we went up 4-3 that we had a guy in front that might have tipped it or something, but you [have to] get shots on net [and] you [have to] get guys in front. That is when we started to play better. That is when we scored those goals.”
Temple’s defense held Rowan in place by adjusting the Profs’ formation and cycling the puck out of their zone quicker.
“We were just trying to establish our forecheck,” Civitella said. “We were just trying to run a 2-3 as best as we could because we knew they couldn’t break out with that. When they would get the puck down our end we knew we just had to keep our heads up and just control the puck to be able to get it out. We [just wanted to keep it out of trouble and get it out fast].”
The Owls picked up a point in the standings after the overtime loss, but coach Ryan Frain said he knows his team will face an uphill battle going forward.
“I guess it shows that we can hang around with any team in our region,” Frain said. “It’s just the matter of [putting it all together] and getting a big win against a team like that. I think at this point that we have to hope that some teams help us out and we probably have to run the table next semester.”
Stephen Godwin Jr. can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @StephenGodwinJr.