Ice hockey releases schedule, eyes postseason

A more forgiving 2012-13 schedule for ice hockey may help ease the path to the postseason after the team fell short of that goal last year.

After struggling through the 2011-12 season that saw Temple drop 12 consecutive games en route to a 9-17 record, coach Jerry Roberts and his team ensured that more thought was put into this year’s schedule, released Saturday, July 28.

“Last year, we tried to make a statement early on,” Roberts said. “We scheduled as many difficult teams as we could find in that first half of the year, and it just didn’t work. We had a long losing streak in the middle of a very tough stretch, and a lot of them were close games against very good teams.”

“We spaced things out a little this year and really tried to be smarter about who we played and when we played them,” Roberts added. “There’s a lot more balance this year and it should really help.”

The Owls kick off the season at Millersville on Sept. 15, the start of a three-game road stretch in which the Owls will see the College of New Jersey and Lehigh University.

The home schedule opens up with Montclair State on Sept. 29, and will precede a big home matchup with Mid-Atlantic Collegiate Hockey Association rival Penn State a day later.

Other key games include two meetings with MACHA rival Rowan University, the first being at Rowan on Oct. 13, and a daunting home-at-home series with top division rival University of Maryland Baltimore County on the Jan. 19 and 20.

“Those rivalry games are games that the players and coaches circle on their calendar right away,” Roberts said. “It’s always exciting to play big games like that, and as much as you might dislike a rival team or one of their players, those games end up being the most competitive and the most fun to play.”

After a 2011-12 season that saw the Owls miss the postseason for the first time since the 2005-06 campaign, the Owls will try to get things back in the right direction come September, and will certainly use an easier schedule as leverage.

“We learned a lot from last year,” Roberts said. “No one was happy with it and we had a meeting after the season and talked about what we needed to do to get better. Based on some of the adjustments we made as a team and with the schedule, we expect to be a lot better this year.”

Here’s a look at the ice hockey team’s complete schedule:

9/15 @ Millersville
9/21 @ TCNJ
9/23 @ Lehigh
9/29 vs. Montclair St.
9/30 vs. Penn State
10/5-7 American Collegiate Hockey Association Showcase
10/13 @ Rowan
10/14 @ Delaware
10/19 vs Virginia Tech
10/20 @ Rider
10/26 vs St. Joseph’s University
10/27 @ Montclair St.
11/3 vs Rider
11/4 vs Delaware
11/9 vs Liberty
11/17 @ St. Joe’s
11/18 @ The University of New York
11/30 @ Maryland
12/7 @ Monmouth
12/8 @ Penn State
1/19 @ UMBC
1/20 vs UMBC
1/25 @ Liberty
1/26 @ Virginia Tech
2/1 vs Millersville
2/8 vs Rowan
2/9 vs Monmouth
2/15-17 MACH North Playoffs
2/23-24 ACHA Southeast Regionals
3/15-19 ACHA Nationals

Drew Parent