Rowan tops Owls

Penalties hurt the Owls in a 4-2 loss Saturday night.

Owls’ defenseman Aron Litostanski smacked his stick on the glass on his way off the ice of the Hollydell Ice Arena.

It had been that kind of night.

Temple lost for the third consecutive game in a 4-2 defeat to Rowan, as forward Alex Polis scored two goals to lead his team to its first win of the season Saturday night.

Rowan exploited the Owls on the power play by scoring on three of its seven opportunities. Rowan’s fourth goal also came on the power play, but was the result of a short-handed situation.

Owls forward Steve Kennedy found himself in the box on three occasions, including a 10-minute misconduct penalty that cost him half of the third period.

“We shot ourselves in the foot,” coach Ryan Frain said. “We had three minor penalties and then a 10 minute misconduct for the rest of the period from Kennedy. It’s just stupid. It’s a lack of focus and it’s selfish.”

The fore-check of the Rowan players also bore problems for Temple as it caused its passing to be off target and sometimes resulted in turnovers.

“They forecheck really hard every time we play them,” forward Brady O’Donnell said. “They are not the most talented team, but they will out work almost anybody.”

The power play was the focus of the first period as it accounted for three goals.

Temple was awarded a power play opportunity with 11 minutes, 30 seconds remaining, but immediately after the faceoff, Rowan capitalized on an Owls turnover. Rowan forward Alec Nicolai intercepted a Temple pass, drove up ice and dished the puck to Polis, who promptly beat senior goalie Eric Semborski.

Temple struggled to coordinate scoring plays against Rowan during the first period, as many of its attempts were batted down in the neutral zone.

Temple finally caught fire on the man advantage when Steve Kennedy passed to Cody Vassa from behind the net, and Vassa scored after deking out Rowan goalie Cody Reilly.

A 4-on-4 situation transpired near the end of the first period, but the advantage went to Rowan when Nicolai recovered a rebound to retake the lead at 2-1.

Semborski fell under siege again halfway through the second period, but once again it led to a power play for the Owls.

Rowan initially almost had another shorthanded goal when Temple fumbled the puck in its own zone after a clear, but Semborski came up with the save.

As Rowan returned to even strength forward Dave Brewer scored on a laser shot by Reilly for the tying goal.

Rowan intercepted one of Temple passes and streaked on Semborski, but Kennedy pulled down the attacker leading to a penalty.

Forward Pat Golden seized a Rowan pass on the power play and nearly scored a short-handed goal, but a slight misdirection caused his shot to hit the post.

Rowan soon maintained the puck in Temple’s zone long enough for defenseman Merr Morrelli’s goal, that gave them a 3-2 lead.

The back-and-forth scoring affair ended when Polis scored to keep Rowan up for good on a back-door goal on Semborski.

The Owls killed off a power play right before the goal, but another penalty kept them undermanned.

Saturday marked the second consecutive loss in which Temple lost to a previously winless opponent, as they lost to Lehigh Friday night.

The team is off until Friday when it starts a three-game weekend, kicking off with Montclair University.

Stephen Godwin Jr. can be reached at or twitter @StephenGodwinJr.

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