Temples Zach Scannapieco made the most of his 22nd birthday. The Senior netted the game winning goal just :40 into the first overtime to give the 12th ranked Owls (Liberty DI)) a thrilling 9-8 win over the defending D2 National Champion Rams of West Chester (#1 Liberty DII).
West Chester found the net first before Temple rattled off 3 goals to close out the first quarter with a 3-1 edge. Both teams exchanged goals throughout the second stanza before heading into the halftime break with the Owls enjoying a 2 goal lead at 5-3.
A flurry of penalties by the Owls allowed the Golden Rams to claw back and take a 6-5 lead before Temple rallied yet again. The Owls finished the 3rd quarter with 2 goals to steal back the lead at 7-6. The back and forth continued well into the 4th quarter as West Chester netted 2 quick goals to grab the lead back before Temple knotted the score at 8-8.
West Chester had an opportunity to end the game in regulation but Owls netminder Bob McPeake made a huge save right on the doorstep to force overtime.
Forth year head coach Chris Berkelbach noted his teams toughness in the face of another sudden death contest. “After going 1-3 in OT games last year it’s great to see such resiliency from this team in week 1. We hope this will set the tone for the rest of our season”, Berkelbach stated. “Hats off to West Chester for a well fought game. Tonight was an absolute battle from start to finish. Our guys never kept their heads down and continued to pick each other up when the team needed it.”
Freshmen Ryan Schmidt (Central Bucks East), Scott Thompson and Sophomore Luke Brennan (York Catholic) all scored twice for the Owls while junior Attackman Bailey Haines (Dallas Township) added a goal and an assist. Jake Bevenour played out of his mind at the face-off x, winning every draw for Temple and grabbing MVP honors.
Temple will travel to Delaware to take on the Blue Hens on 2/25 while West Chester will take on Williamson on Feb, 23rd.
Photo Credit: Temple, South Jersey Pix