After a three-year drought, Owls shooting for regional tournament

The Owls are aiming for their first spot in the ACHA Regional Tournament since 2011.

A new season of Temple ice hockey is already in the works this summer, as the team has been preparing for the 2014-15 season by way of its “captain’s practices.”

The practices are not sanctioned by Temple, but are instead run by the team captains. Returning players and tryout hopefuls are involved in the practices and mostly work on keeping their bodies in game shape.

“There have been a few new guys at every position, which makes me happy,” Junior Greg Malinowski said. “There will be competition at the different spots.”

With 2013-14 seniors Joe Pisko, Nick McMahon, Kurt Noce and goalie Chris Mullen having departed, it could be the likes of veteran forwards Brady O’Donnell, Patrick Golden and Stephen Kennedy who slide into leadership roles come the fall.

Returning for his second season guiding the team is Ryan Frain, a fair player in his own right for the Owls from 2006 until 2011. Frain holds the team’s all-time mark in goals, assists, points and games played.

He guided last year’s team to a 12-9-3 record in American Collegiate Hockey Association play and a 3-4-1 record in the Mid-Atlantic North division, but the Owls missed out on the ACHA Regional Tournament for the third consecutive season.

The season was an up-and-down one for Frain, as he admits to it being a learning experience. Frain found himself wanting to keep a foot in two worlds as he tried balancing the role of player’s friend and coach.

“I saw that did not work at all,” Frain said. “I think that is one of the big things this year, that I am going to hold everyone accountable regardless if they are our leading scorer or just a role player.”

Frain is also looking for an addition to his coaching staff on the offensive side so he can focus more on his players.

A berth in the regional tournament is another goal for the team this season, as the team hasn’t achieved the feat since its run to the ACHA National Tournament in 2011.

“You have to be motivated, but it has to be the right kind of motivation,” Malinowski said. “These past couple years we have talked about making it to nationals, but we have to focus on making it to regionals first.”

Organized team activities will begin with tryouts in August and practices will ramp up towards the end of the month. The team also has a trip to Hershey, Pa. planned the weekend after Labor Day, in which it’ll be practicing along with various team-bonding activities.

The season schedule is still in the works, as Frain said he’s still working out the finer technicalities. The release date is anticipated to be in two weeks, and the season will likely kick off on the weekend of Sept. 19 against the University of Maryland.

Stephen Godwin Jr. can be reached at or on Twitter @StephenGodwinJr.

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