Owls to face Toledo in two-game set

The first-ever matchups between the Owls and the University of Toledo this weekend will have major implications on the American Collegiate Hockey Association rankings that will come out on Nov. 23.

Toledo ranks sixth in the ACHA Southeast standings with a 7-4 record, while Temple sits in ninth with a 10-6 record.

“I think it is shaping up to be a good weekend,” Toledo coach Dan Conway said in an email. “The second ranking period is right around the corner and these are two big games for both of us.”

The two teams share similarities as both are loaded with veterans and each has endured hardships this season.

The Rockets have 16 upperclassmen on their 25-man roster to the Owls’ 13 on a 26-man roster.

Temple blazed through its first five games with a 4-1 record before stumbling through a six-game losing streak that stretched from Sept. 28 to Oct. 12. The Owls proceeded to win three-straight games and the team has won six of its last eight.

Toledo won its first two games, but then lost five straight. A seven-game winning streak helped salvage its season with a seven-game win streak that it is looking to extend tonight.

“We unfortunately dropped a few games early on, but I think a good part of that was due to the change in our strength of schedule,” Conway said. “We decided as a team that this was rock bottom for us. We had to get the mojo back. We know we have talented players and an end goal that we have to keep pushing towards. I think we are still trying to ride the wave we are on while not taking any of it for granted.”

Owls coach Ryan Frain arrived in Toledo at 4 a.m. this morning and held a short practice with the team earlier this afternoon at the Team Toledo Ice House.

Tonight’s game is at 9:30 p.m. with a second game taking place at 3:30 p.m.

Bitter rivalry to resume in season opener

Coach Ryan Frain said he is already treating tonight’s game against the University of Maryland as a playoff game.

The second-year coach’s emphasis on the Mid-Atlantic Collegiate Hockey Association bout could be that every contest against Maryland since 2008 has been a close game for the Owls. The Terps have gotten the better of the matchups in that span, winning four of the last five.

No pair of games in one season with the two teams were closer than last season, when the Owls dropped a pair of overtime games to Maryland by scores of 6-5 and 2-1.

Another factor lies in the sting from the end of the 2012-13 season, which is still fresh in the mind of Frain and his veteran players.

The top 10 teams in the American Collegiate Hockey Association’s Southeast region make the regional tournament on a point system, but in 2013 the Terps edged the Owls by one point for the final spot.

The two schools weren’t far apart last season, either, as Maryland finished No. 11 in the region, while Temple finished in the No. 15 spot.

The game marks the second consecutive season that Temple and Maryland are starting their seasons against each other.

The two teams are both in the MACHA conference, but are in different divisions as Maryland resides in the MACHA South and Temple in the MACHA North.

-Stephen Godwin Jr.

Hockey roster released

Temple ice hockey coach Ryan Frain released the team’s final roster Tuesday night.

One highlight on the final roster lies in sophomore forward Brett Woyshner, who made the team after spending last season as a redshirt.

Frain is keeping 26 active players on his team and is grooming four redshirts for next season.

The squad will return 19 players from last year’s team, while it will feature 15 juniors and seniors.

Seven new names are set to join the team this season, but the two that stand out early are freshmen forwards Devon Thomas and Eric Graham.

Thomas worked hard during tryouts and scored two goals on the final night of the three-day trial, while Graham also netted a pair of goals in the tryout finale and had another ricochet off the post.

-Stephen Godwin Jr.

Frain named ice hockey head coach

Ryan Frain will once again be the face of Temple ice hockey, only this time in a different capacity.

The former standout player turned assistant coach has been named the new head coach of Temple’s ice hockey club, it was announced Monday.

Seniors Joe Pisko, Kurt Noce, Nick McMahon and Chris Mullen headed a search committee and made the decision for the club, which finished 17-12 overall last season and missed the American Collegiate Hockey Association Regional Tournament for the second consecutive season.

Frain was a standout on the ice for five seasons (2006-11) and stands as the club’s all-time leader in goals, assists, points and games played. He spent two years as an assistant under former coach Jerry Roberts, who resigned in Feburary.

Frain will get his first taste of head coaching when the team reassembles for tryouts in early September.