When freshman forward Jayson Marbaich got mobbed by his Temple ice hockey teammates Saturday night, his head was blank.
“It’s an incredible feeling,” Marbaich said. “You score and the team goes crazy. You’re really not thinking anything; you’re just screaming and having an awesome time with your teammates.”
Marbaichwas at the bottom of a hockey player dog pile for good reason yesterday, as he netted the game winner in overtime in a game against Montclair State University that almost spelled disaster.
Riding a 4-2 lead with just over a minute left in the third period, Montclair got one back to make it 4-3 with 1:07 left. Montclair then pressured Temple in the game’s last minute with a flurry of shots, finally getting one past junior goalie Chris Mullen with seven seconds left in regulation to knot it at four.
“If we had lost today especially in that way, it would’ve been tough waking up [today],” Junior forward Joe Pisko said.
“For us to stand up and still be willing to fight and not give up on the game at that point, it was a huge confidence boost for everyone,” coach Jerry Roberts said.“It was a big statement that we have turned the corner from where we were last year.”
After Montclair took an early 1-0 lead, Pisko responded with a pair of goals; the first being the result of a breakaway off of a Marbaich pass, and the second coming off of a rebound to make it a 2-1 contest.
After the game went back tied, Chris Brennan and Greg Malinowski both tallied third period goals to give Temple the 4-2 lead in which they almost held.
“I felt good coming into the game today,” Pisko said. “I was pretty happy overall with the way things went.”
Marbaich scored 12 seconds into OT, taking the puck behind the net and tucking it in on a wraparound to win it.
“It was nice to see us bounce back,” Roberts said.“We saw a lot of progress from where we were at this time last year.”
“We showed more discipline in the defensive and neutral zones tonight.” Roberts said. “We showed more willingness to play the hockey we want to play. They were certainly caught up tonight.”
Not only was Marbaich the overtime hero, he was also a leading force physically on the ice for Temple in a game that featured a lot of hitting from both sides.
“Big players show up for big situations and [Marbaich] was no exception,” Roberts said.“He’s one of the catalysts for our increased physical play this year.”
“We wanted our guys to be a lot more physical this year,” Roberts added.“They were willing to do that today. We want the teams that we play to feel it the next morning.”
In a back and forth affair that produced a combined 83 shots on goal, Mullen faced 43 of them and promptly answered the call, making several big stops throughout.
“He saw a lot more rubber than we’d like him to see,” Roberts said.“He definitely made a statement to the coaching staff and even to himself. He knows now that it’s his net.”
“Guys on the bench were telling him to pick his head up and not to worry about [the game-tying goal],” Roberts said.“The way we looked at it was he had us for the first 59 minutes and we had to get him for the final minute.”
The Owls will look to ride the wave of an OT victory into today when they face a top ACHA team in Penn State University at Northeast Skatezone. Game time is set for 2 p.m.
Andrew Parent can be reached at email@example.com or on twitter @daParent93.