Ice hockey faces Maryland in MACHA showdown

After a nearly two-week layoff, the Owls will take on  Maryland tonight in its seventh Mid-Atlantic Collegiate Hockey Association contest of the season. It will be the only regular season match-up between the conference rivals this season.

To coach Jerry Roberts, Maryland possesses several similar qualities to a familiar foe.

“They’re a lot like [MACHA rival Rider University],” Roberts said. “[Maryland] has depth. They don’t have any big superstars but they do have a lot of players who are capable of beating you. They played Rider twice, one went to OT and one was a one-goal game. Having not seen them yet [this season], that’s what we’re preparing for.”

Temple (12-7) had previously won four consecutive games before a 6-2 loss to NYU its last time out on Nov. 18. The Owls have won four of their previous five after taking a 9-3 beating from Montclair University on Oct. 27.

“The guys feel confident right now,” Roberts said. “We feel good about the progress we made after the Montclair shellacking. Even after the loss to NYU, we were able to pick up lessons after that game and move forward.”

Temple is 5-4 in MACHA play this season, while Maryland is 3-7. The Owls sit in the 10th and final postseason-qualifying spot in the  American Collegiate Hockey Association Southeast Region, according to the November rankings. Maryland is currently on the outside looking in with the 12th spot.

“The ranking implications of this game are huge,” Roberts said. “You’re expected to beat teams behind you and it’s detrimental to your cause if you can’t beat the teams behind you. … This is a game that we should win and a game that we have to win. We can’t afford to lose this game.”

Senior forward Chris Johnson will be held out due to an upper-body injury, Roberts confirmed. Junior goalie Chris Mullen will get the nod in net.

Game time at Maryland’s Wells Ice Arena is set to start at 8:15 p.m.

-Andrew Parent