Temple’s matchup against St. Joseph’s is more than a divisional game Friday night, as the team also has the chance to clinch an early spot in the Mid-Atlantic Collegiate Hockey Association playoffs.
The postseason chance seems to mean little to coach Ryan Frain, however, as he eyes the American Hockey Collegiate Association regional playoffs.
“The way I look at it is the regionals are the goal,” Frain said. “If you handle your business by beating the teams in your division and conference then you should be able to make the MACHA playoffs.”
Bigger news graced Frain’s computer screen a few days ago when the second set of rankings came out for the ACHA Division 2 rankings. Temple stayed locked in the ninth spot and in the mix for the regional playoffs.
“To be honest, when [Andrew] Trainor and Ted [Wood] and I talked to other coaches around the league, we thought we were going to stay at the No. 9 spot based on our performances against Toledo and Penn State,” Frain said.
The last time the Owls and Hawks clashed was on Nov. 8 when the Owls overcame a first-period shutout. Temple tallied six goals over the next two periods, while the Hawks managed two. The Hawks have an abysmal 2-16 record, but Frain is not taking this game lightly.
“When we go into games against St. Joe’s, it doesn’t matter if they are bad or not because it’s a divisional game,” Frain said. “You have to be able to get up for games like this. To them we are the big dog, if you will, as we are the first matchup against a ranked opponent out of the break, so we are going to have a target on our back.”
This is Temple’s first game back after almost two weeks removed from its last contest. Frain does not think rust will be a factor, due to the team’s practice schedule this past week.
“A break is always good after 19 or 20 games,” Frain said. “The guys got to spend time with their families and enjoy the holiday. We had a good week of practice this past Monday and Wednesday night and I think we are ready to go for these next four games that are huge. After the rankings have come in we know we will be facing No. 8 Delaware and No. 6 Rowan. I know the players know the importance of these games and I expect them to be ready to go.”
The Owls will face off against the Hawks at 9:20 p.m.
-Stephen Godwin Jr.