Coach Mark Spease did not mince words after his team’s latest loss.
“I thought we stunk from tip to tail,” Spease said. “Actually, first five minutes we played well and the last five minutes we played well. We played 10 minutes of good hockey and 50 minutes of bad hockey. It was that bad.”
Temple (4-5-1) lost its third game in a row, 3-2, Friday against Villanova at the Flyers Skate Zone in Northeast Philadelphia. The Owls were outshot 42-21 in the contest.
“I just want to see some heart, some intensity, and some passion,” Spease said. “And we didn’t see it tonight. And it’s mind boggling to me because this is our first league game and probably the weakest opponent we’ve played all year and we didn’t show up. We’re light, a lot of freshmen had to see ice that they don’t see but it was a terrible performance.”
The Owls were without their point leader in senior forward Joey Powell, who is serving a suspension from a fight against John Carroll University on Oct. 14. Freshman forward Eric DiPretoro also missed the game due to a family obligation.
Without the two, the Owls struggled to get much going offensively until the third period. After two periods, Temple was only able to get 13 shots on goal.
But, the Owls found some offense in the third period with two goals from senior defenseman Ryan Dumbach and sophomore defenseman Ryan Trefz.
With less than six minutes remaining in the third period, Dumbach motored through the neutral zone with the puck and beat the Wildcats goaltender with a wrist shot on the shortside.
Trefz added his shorthanded goal with one-minute, 52 seconds left in the game while there was 1:34 left on Temple’s penalty.
“We were pretty short on numbers,” said sophomore goaltender Ben Auerbach, who made 39 saves on 42 shots. “We had a lot of young guys [who] had to step up and play big roles that they’re not used to playing. I think we were a little hesitant or not as crisp as we wanted to be.”
Line changes and Temple getting caught pinching in the offensive zone led to goals for Villanova in the second period.
The Wildcats scored two goals on 15 shots to take a 2-0 lead. The first goal came about five minutes into the period off of a scramble and traffic in front of Auerbach.
The Owls went on the powerplay with more than 14 minutes remaining in the second period, but were not able to do much. Temple didn’t register a shot and gave up some shorthanded opportunities for the Wildcats.
Villanova scored its second goal of the night on a breakaway about three minutes after the Owls’ failed powerplay.
The Wildcats added a third goal, that beat Auerbach over his right shoulder into the corner of the net, which proved to be the difference about nine minutes into the third period.
“Off the bat they were moving their feet more than us and they were just out-hustling us,” sophomore forward Charles Ghiazza said. “We got it back in the third a little bit, but yeah they were mostly just out playing us.”
Temple will play the away half of its home-and-home series with Villanova on Saturday at Hatfield Ice in Colmar, Pennsylvania.