Temple (8-2-3) can’t seem to get past Maryland, as Friday night’s 2-1 loss makes it four losses in a row against the Terrapins.
“Just frustrating,” coach Ryan Frain said after the game. “We know what we need to do game in and game out and there’s shifts when we do it and shifts when we don’t and we need to be consistent with it for a full 60 minutes and tonight we weren’t and we shouldn’t have even been in that position to go to overtime.”
The first period started with the Owls in complete control of the game, beating the Terrapins to almost every puck. The talents of junior forward Stephen Kennedy were on full display as the Ambler Pa., native weaved his way through the Terrapins defense and set up for the Owls for scoring chances throughout the period. But Temple was not able to capitalize and the period ended 0-0.
Starting off periods flat has plagued the Owls all season and last night was no exception. After being dominated for most of the first period, Maryland scored just 63 seconds into the second period to take a 1-0 lead.
“We need to be ready,” Frain said. “No shifts off and being ready from the drop of the puck for each period and continue that to the last buzzer.”
About four minutes later with the Owls on the power play, Kennedy took the puck into the Terrapins’ zone, weaved through the defense, circled the net and fired a wrist shot past Maryland’s goaltender to tie up the game at 1-1.
In what was already a physically intense game with many scrums and skirmishes after the whistle, typical for a Temple – Maryland game, the intensity increased even more after the Kennedy goal. The fighting carried into the third period with a brawl near the Owls’ bench at the end of the second before the two teams could even get off of the ice.
The third period also saw many altercations between both teams but no goals as regulation play was not enough to determine a winner.
In 4 on 4 overtime play, Kennedy played the puck by the Temple bench in the middle of an Owls shift for a crucial too many men on the ice penalty with little less than three minutes left to play in the game. Temple’s defense, most notably senior goaltender Chris Mullen, held strong and was able to kill of the 4 on 3.
But with just ten seconds left in overtime, after a solid save by Mullen the Terrapins bounced on a rebound and poked home the game winner into a wide open net.
“It’s so frustrating,” sophomore forward and team captain Greg Malinowski said. “We just didn’t compete from the 15 minute mark and into overtime.”
Goaltending though, has been a bright spot for Temple all season. Last night was no exception as Mullen looked very sharp in between the pipes.
“He’s been playing unreal,” Malinowski said. “I mean I feel bad for him that we keep losing for him, he’s our team basically when it comes down to it.”
Samuel Matthews can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @SJMatthews13.