DI sweeps ISU on the road; DIII heads to Pacific Region Showcase

Last Friday and Saturday, September 8-9, the Division I Ice Hogs faced off against the Illinois State University Redbirds. The Hogs came out of the weekend with two victories, sweeping the Redbirds for the first time in program history.

On Friday, the Hogs struck first in the first period with a goal by Cory Delisle, assisted by Jesse Foskey and Sine Chadi.  The Redbirds evened things up prior to the end of the first.  Arkansas regained the lead in the second period with a goal by Luc Gradisar, assisted by Cal Owens and Cory Delisle.  Three minutes later the Redbirds struck back and pulled ahead in the third period with just three minutes to play.  After an ISU penalty, the Razorbacks pulled their goaltender for a 6-4 advantage and, with just thirteen seconds left to play in regulation, Chris Stovall scored the equalizer.  The Hogs carried the play in overtime, but the game went to a shootout where both Chris Stovall and Cory Delisle scored to secure a 4-3 Arkansas victory.

The Redbirds got off to a hot start in Saturday’s rematch.  Although the Hogs scored first on tally by Tyler Valentin, assisted by Andrew Pellegrino and Chris Salmon, the Redbirds answered just nine seconds later.  After adding two more goals in the first and still another in the second, the Hogs were trailing 4-1 midway through the contest.  Across the balance of regulation, however, the Razorbacks scored three unanswered goals thanks to Collin Young, Sine Chadi, and Landyn Howze.  Overtime again failed to produce a winner and, like Friday, the game headed to a shootout.  Thanks to a Cory Delisle goal, Arkansas secured a second come-from-behind victory in as many days.  Arkansas will see ISU next year in Springdale, AR on February 9 and 10.  In the meantime, the DI Razorbacks are idle this weekend before heading to rival Alabama for a pair of games on on September 22 and 23.

This coming weekend, September 15-17, first-year Head Coach Colin Hesse and the Division III Razorback Ice Hockey team will open up its tenth season by playing in the Pacific Region Showcase in Springfield, MO.

Coming off of a 13-19-1 season, the Ice Hogs will face the University of Kansas, University of Nebraska, and Missouri State University in the Showcase. The Division III Razorbacks seek redemption after posting a cumulative 1-9 record against those three teams last season.  All time, the Hogs hold a 23-15 record against the three teams (Kansas: 4-4; Nebraska: 4-4; Missouri State: 15-7).

Like the Division I roster, the off-season brought numerous changes to the Division III team.  In total, the Razorbacks added twelve new faces to the Division III roster. The Hogs return fifteen players from last season, including last season’s leading scorer, Evan Kerr.  Senior Andrew DeNome returns as captain.

The puck drops at 7:30 pm on Friday night against Kansas; 5:00 pm Saturday night against Missouri State; and 2:30 pm Sunday afternoon against Nebraska.

DI Razorbacks open 17-18 campaign on the road this weekend

Photo credit: Edward Matthews

On Friday and Saturday, September 8-9, the Division I Razorback Ice Hockey team will open up its third season by taking on the Illinois State Redbirds on the road in Normal, Illinois.  Like Arkansas, Illinois State began Division I play in 2015-16.

Coming off of a rocky 8-29-1 season that saw the Hogs finish the 2016-17 campaign #40 in the country, the Ice Hogs enter this opening series 3-5 lifetime against the Redbirds. The Hogs are looking to bounce back from a 1-3 record against the Redbirds last season, including an overtime loss on October 22, 2016 at the Jones Center.

For its part, Illinois State finished the season nearby the Hogs ranked #36 in the nation with an overall record of 11-19-2.  ISU saw several changes in the off-season, most notably Bobby DiNardi replacing former head coach Mike Marquardt.  Coaching changes aside, the Redbirds signed a trio of impact forwards in Connor Boscaccy, Taylor Dickert, and Robert Kalata.  ISU also returns two of its three top scorers from last season–Jeremy Norway and Joey Bower. 

The Razorbacks made numerous changes this off-season–adding fifteen new faces to the roster including a total overhaul in net.  The Hogs return fourteen players, including last season’s leading scorer Luc Gradisar who scored five goals against the Redbirds in last season’s four games series.  The Hogs will be led by their five captains:  Jacob Brown (senior), James Haddock (senior), Landyn Howze (senior), Jesse Foskey (senior) and Collin Young (junior).

The puck drops at 7:00 pm on Friday night and 1:00 pm Saturday afternoon.

 

2017-18 rosters set

The University of Arkansas Men’s Hockey Team today announced its ACHA Division I and III rosters for the 2017-18 season.  In doing so, Arkansas enters only its third year of Division I play and simultaneously its third season fielding two teams.  The University of Arkansas is the only SEC school to field two hockey teams and was the first SEC school to elevate its flagship team to Division I.

Entering the 2017-18 season, the Division I roster is young—boasting just four seniors.  The twenty-nine man roster includes seven juniors, five sophomores, and twelve freshmen.  In total, the Division I team welcomes fifteen new players to a roster that includes just one true freshman.  Team captains for the Division I squad are James Haddock, Jacob Brown, Jesse Foskey, Landyn Howze, and Collin Young.

The Division I team will look to rebound from a challenging 2016-17 season that saw the team open the season strong, but falter midway through the fall semester as injuries piled up.  The 2017-18 season opens tomorrow at 4:45 pm with a free preseason scrimmage against the Springfield Express—a junior team from the Western States Hockey League.  After the Express contest, the team will formally open its season on the road against the Illinois State Redbirds on September 8 & 9.

The Division III Razorbacks are likewise young.  Andrew DeNome returns to captain a roster that includes just three returning seniors and seven returning juniors.  Five sophomores and twelve freshmen round out first-year Head Coach Collin Hesse’s twenty-seven-man roster.  The Division III team will look to improve on a thirteen win season that, for the first time since the 2008-09, saw the team exit the SECHC conference tournament without a win.  The Division III Hogs open their season on the road against Kansas in the Pacific Region Showcase on September 15.

Across both rosters, players from eighteen different states made the team alongside five Canadians, one Slovenian, and one player from Sweden.

View the Division I roster here: Division I Roster

View the Division III roster here: Division III Roster

 

Division I Hogs set to host Springfield Express in pre-season scrimmage

On Friday, September 1, the Division I Razorbacks welcome the Springfield Express to the Jones Center to open the 2017-18 season—the team’s third season in ACHA Division I play.  The scrimmage is free and open to the public.

The Express, perennial contenders in the WSHL, are a junior hockey team.  The concept of junior hockey is a foreign one to many.  After or in the middle of their high school hockey careers, most future college hockey players postpone their educational pursuits to continue their hockey careers in juniors hockey.  Depending on their age (junior hockey eligibility begins at sixteen), some players spend up to three years playing junior hockey across the country (or, in some cases, in a different country). The players move away from home and stay with so-called “billet” or host families in order to develop and mature as players while preserving their college eligibility.

The Express arrive in Arkansas after posting a 36-16 record and competing in the WSHL playoffs last season.  Like the Razorbacks, the Express saw substantial changes in the off-season—former Head Coach Jeremy Law assumed the same position with conference-rival Missouri State.  In his place, Coach Ambrefe comes to Springfield with a tremendous hockey resume and experience as both a player and coach.  Last season, Ambrefe was the Head Coach and GM for the Casper Coyotes of the WSHL.

The Express will be facing three familiar faces on the ice—former Express players Chris Stovall, Tobias Sjolund, and Collin Young.  After finishing the 2016-17 season at 8-29-1, the DI Razorbacks welcome 15 new faces to the team.

The puck drops at the Jones Center on Friday at 4:45 pm.

 

 

Trio of HC Dallas players round out 17-18 recruiting class

The Razorback Hockey team is pleased to announce our final three 2017-18 commits, F-Grant Deacon, D/F-Ryan Hall, and D-Tyler Valdron.  All three are former HC Dallas teammates.

Grant Deacon

Grant Deacon comes to Arkansas after completing his youth hockey career with HC Dallas team and the Flower Mound/Marcus High School team in the USHS.  In 19 games with HC Dallas, the 5’8” 160 lb. forward contributed 3 goals and 8 assists. In 17 games with the Flower Mound/Marcus High School team he contributed 23 goals and 13 assists.

Deacon spent his first year of 18U Midget Major hockey, 2015-16, with the McKinney North Stars.  There, Deacon contributed 22 goals and 26 assists in 53 games.

When discussing his decision to commit to Arkansas Deacon said, “I have heard nothing but great things from several people, but mostly that the program is full of great guys who together form two competitive teams. I think that it is going to be a great opportunity to get a chance to play college hockey while furthering my education.”

Said Collin Hesse, Head Coach of the Division III team, “Grant adds speed and grit down the middle of the ice and will be involved early on in the season. The entire staff is excited to have him join our program.”

Ryan Hall will join the Razorbacks after one season at 18U Midget Major and three seasons playing high school

Ryan Hall

hockey. Most recently, the defenseman/forward played 20 games with HC Dallas.  He recorded 2 goals and 4 assists for the team. Before joining HC Dallas, Hall spent the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons with the Grapevine/Colleyville Hockey Team in the USHS.  In 33 games with the team, the 6’3” 198 lb. defenseman/forward contributed 3 goals and 4 assists.

Hall explains that he was not only impressed by the hockey teams Arkansas has had in the past, but also the outstanding academics the University has to offer.  “I chose to continue my hockey and academic career at the University of Arkansas because of the winning seasons and history of success they’ve had in the past, as well as the quality of the school.  It is a great fit for me,” said Hall.

When discussing the coaching staff, Hall commented, “[they have] shown nothing but commitment and dedication to the players and the program. They express nothing but the best interest in the players and the program for its success. I believe that they will help me develop as player and as a better person.”

“Ryan caught our eye pretty early in the recruiting season because of his size,” said Coach Hesse.  “Adding him to our blue line instantly makes us bigger and we look forward to him helping keep pucks out of the net.”

Tyler Valdron

Tyler Valdron is also coming to Arkansas after spending last season with HC Dallas. While with HC Dallas, Valdron played in 15 games and recorded 6 assists. Prior to playing with HC Dallas, the 5’10” 160 lb. defenseman spent three seasons with McKinney High School Hockey Team. While there he appeared in 39 games and recorded 8 goals and 14 assists.

Valdron was drawn to Arkansas by the school’s excellent academics and athletic programs. When asked why he chose to continue his career at Arkansas, Valdron said, “After seeing the team excel with its multiple championships and bond they show together, I saw something I would love to be a part of.”

With regard to the upcoming season Valdron added, “I look forward most to being able to represent my school in various games and hopefully bring a national championship home.”

“Tyler helps to stabilize our blue line and I think he’s just as excited to get this season going as we are having him commit to this program,” said Coach Hesse.

Deacon, Hall, and Valdron bring the 2017-18 recruiting class to twenty-four players from nine different states and four countries.  They join the following players:

F-Zach Hale (San Diego Sabers, WSHL)
F-Matt Hehr (College Station Spirit, NA3HL)
F-Jiri Trubacik (Cheyenne Stampede, WSHL)
F-Konnor Madsen (Long Beach Bombers, WSHL)
F-Andrew Pellegrino (Fresno Monsters, WSHL)
F-Sine Chadi (Long Beach Bombers, WSHL)
F-Sam Weidenbaum (Decatur Blaze, USPHL)
F-Triston Wilson (Euless Stars, NA3HL)
F/D-Paiute Morrison (Southern Oregon Spartans, WSHL)
D-Jeffrey Colton Sands (La Crosse Freeze, NA3HL)
D- Cal Owens (Long Beach Bombers, WSHL)
D-Corey Rees (Long Beach Sharks, NA3HL)
D-Kyle Dudley (Euless Jr. Stars, NA3HL)
D-Shaun Foster (SUNY-Canton, NCAA)
D-Kenatae Medure (Atlanta Capitals, NA3HL)
G-Dalton Baker (College Station Spirit, NA3HL)
G-Max Barr (Long Beach Bombers, WSHL)
G-Brock Thompson (Connecticut Nighthawks, EHL)
G-Rio Virgoe (Jersey Shore Wildcats, NA3HL)
G-Jozef Dusenka (Cheyenne Stampede, WSHL)

The University of Arkansas is the only SEC school to field two hockey teams.  The Division I team has, since 2015, competed in the Western Collegiate Hockey Conference (learn more here).   The Division III team will in 2017-18 begin its eleventh season competing in the Southeastern Collegiate Hockey Conference (learn more here).  All home games are played at The Jones Center for Families in Springdale.

 

Open tryout times set

 

Tryouts are just days away.  Below is the upcoming tryout schedule.  If you’d like to tryout, but have not yet expressed interest, fill out a prospective player form here.  Players must attend all sessions.

August 24, 7:45-10:00 pm
August 25, 4:30-7:45 pm
August 26, 10 am-12:00 pm & 4:00-6:45 pm
August 27, 9:00-11:45 am

All sessions are open to the public at no admission cost.  Even if you are not interested in trying out, the Arkansas Men’s Ice Hockey team has a few remaining board positions for students during the 2017-18 season.  Academic credit is available for RESM students.  Please email Division I Graduate Assistant Spencer Sims (ss021@email.uark.edu) for more more information.

We are five-time winners of the Southeastern Collegiate Hockey Conference post-season playoff tournament (09-10, 10-11, 12-13, 13-14, 14-15)  and have won the regular season SEC-West conference championship for the past five consecutive seasons (09-10, 10-11, 11-12, 12-13, 13-14).  In our short history, we have appeared at Nationals three times (09-10, 13-14, 14-15), made three appearances at the South Regional tournament (09-10, 10-11, 12-13), and are consistently ranked in the top ten in our region during the regular season.

The 15-16 season was the first for the Arkansas hockey program fielding two teams.  That season, Division I team finished #21–the highest finish in ACHA history for any team in its first DI season after moving from DIII.  The team’s #21 finish also gave Arkansas the best finish of any of the five teams that made the jump to Division I during the 15-16 season season.

During the 17-18 season, we will again field both a Division I and Division III team.  You can learn more about the team here and can catch up on some of the team’s media hits here.

Dusenka and Wood the next pair on their way to Arkansas

The Razorback Hockey team is pleased to announce the next two additions to the 2017-18 recruiting class, G-Jozef Dusenka and D-Blake Wood.

Dusenka comes to Arkansas after completing his junior hockey career with the Cheyenne Stampede in the WSHL.  In 24 games with the Stampede, the 5’11” 170 lb. goalie recorded a .896 save percentage, a 5.43 GAA, and helped the team reach the playoffs.

Dusenka spent his first year of junior hockey, 2015-16, with the Marquette Royals in the USPHL Midwest.  There, Dusenka recorded a .908 save percentage and a 3.36 GAA in 18 games.

From Prosev, Slovakia, Dusenka’s father introduced him to hockey when he was five years old.  He continued to play all through his teenage years and came to the United States two years ago to play junior hockey and pursue his hockey career and education.

Said Dusenka, “After two seasons of ice hockey experience in the United States, I decided to continue playing at the University level. The University of Arkansas gave me a chance to pursue the degree I am interested in and my passion for hockey. Compared to my home country, the University of Arkansas provides an outstanding quality of education as well as sports experience. I am excited to become a student at a University that values not only education, but also other important aspects of students’ lives.”

“Josef has the opportunity to come in and make an immediate impact for the program,” said Collin Hesse, Head Coach of the Division III team.  “He’s an athletic goaltender with a deep junior background who is excited to have the opportunity to play college hockey.”

Wood will join the Razorbacks after two seasons playing junior hockey.  Most recently, the right-shooting defenseman played 15 games with the Euless Jr. Stars in the NA3HL.  He recorded 2 total points (1 goal and 1 assist) and helped the Jr. Stars reach the playoffs. Before joining the Jr. Stars, Woods spent the first half of the 2016-17 season with the Syracuse Stampede in the NA3HL.  In 32 games with the Stampede, the 5’10” 205 lb. defenseman contributed 14 assists.

Wood explains that he started skating at three years old and played in his first hockey game just a year later.  Wood’s father also played hockey as a child for one of the first teams in Texas.

“I chose to continue my hockey and academic career at the University of Arkansas because of the winning seasons and history of success they’ve had in the past, as well as the quality of the school.  It is a great fit for me,” said Wood.

“We are excited to have Blake join on our blue line this fall,” said Coach Hesse.  “He gives us more size back there along with a powerful shot. We are looking forward to seeing him an Arkansas jersey.”

Dusenka and Wood bring the 2017-18 recruiting class to twenty-two players from nine different states and four countries.  They join the following players:

F-Zach Hale (San Diego Sabers, WSHL)
F-Matt Hehr (College Station Spirit, NA3HL)
F-Jiri Trubacik (Cheyenne Stampede, WSHL)
F-Konnor Madsen (Long Beach Bombers, WSHL)
F-Andrew Pellegrino (Fresno Monsters, WSHL)
F-Sine Chadi (Long Beach Bombers, WSHL)
F-Sam Weidenbaum (Decatur Blaze, USPHL)
F-Triston Wilson (Euless Stars, NA3HL)
F/D-Paiute Morrison (Southern Oregon Spartans, WSHL)
D-Jeffrey Colton Sands (La Crosse Freeze, NA3HL)
D-Cal Owens (Long Beach Bombers, WSHL)
D-Corey Rees (Long Beach Sharks, NA3HL)
D-Kyle Dudley (Euless Jr. Stars, NA3HL)
D-Shaun Foster (SUNY-Canton, NCAA)
D-Kenatae Medure (Atlanta Capitals, NA3HL)
G-Dalton Baker (College Station Spirit, NA3HL)
G-Max Barr (Long Beach Bombers, WSHL)
G-Brock Thompson (Connecticut Nighthawks, EHL)
G-Rio Virgoe (Jersey Shore Wildcats, NA3HL)

The University of Arkansas is the only SEC school to field two hockey teams.  The Division I team has, since 2015, competed in the Western Collegiate Hockey Conference (learn more here).   The Division III team will in 2017-18 begin its eleventh season competing in the Southeastern Collegiate Hockey Conference (learn more here).  All home games are played at The Jones Center for Families in Springdale.

 

Razorbacks announce Division III schedule

The Razorbacks today announced their 2017-18 schedule for the program’s Division III American Collegiate Hockey Association team. The schedule features 10 weekend games at The Jones Center for Families in Springdale and two home games in Little Rock.

Coming off a thirteen win season that featured a SECHC Playoffs appearance, the 2017-18 Division III Razorbacks look for a return to the National Tournament in this, a challenging 29 game regular season slate. The regular season opens on the road at the Pacific Regional Showcase at Missouri State in Springfield.  There, the Razorbacks will face off against the University of Kansas, Nebraska, and Missouri State.

The first home games of the season will be the following weekend, September 22 & 23, against Robert Morris-Peoria.  The DIII Ice Hogs split a two-game series against RMU-Peoria last season.

The Razorbacks continue their ninth campaign in the Southeastern Collegiate Hockey Conference on the road against Ole Miss and Vanderbilt in October.  Both games will be played in Olive Branch, MS. That same month, the DIII Hogs tangle with Nebraska on October 6 & 7, and nearby rival, Missouri State, at home on October 13 & 14.

Highlights throughout the remainder of the season include a trip to Little Rock for two home games against conference foe Mississippi State in late October.  The DIII Razorbacks are excited to revive this tradition and take the ice in Central Arkansas.  Then, to wrap up the first semester, the team will spend November travelling to Dordt College and the University of Kansas.

The second semester kicks off on January 13 with a two game home series (opponent will be announced at a later date).  During January, they will take on Creighton at home and SECHC-opponent Ole Miss on the road.

February will be a busy month for the DIII Ice Hogs.  First, they will travel with Division I to Springfield, Missouri, to play Missouri State in a pair of double headers.  Then, they will make a trip to SECHC Playoffs in Nashville on February 9, 10, & 11.  ACHA Regionals will take place February 23 & 24.  Finally, the DIII Hogs hope to make an appearance at Nationals on March 14-18 in Columbus, Ohio.

“This schedule will help us compete every week whether it is against a top Pacific Region team, or our rivals in the SECHC.  Being able to play some teams multiple times will help us prepare for tougher weekends at the end of the season. We are extremely excited to start the year with the Pacific Showcase and look forward to bringing the SECHC Trophy back to Fayetteville in February,” said Collin Hesse, Head Coach of the Division III Team.

Single game tickets for the 2017-18 regular season can be purchased at the Jones Center. Please visit arhockey.westernchl.com for further information about the team.

VIEW FULL SCHEDULE

Jeffrey Sands and Zach Hale commit to Arkansas

The Razorback Hockey team is pleased to announce our next two 2017-18 commits, D-Jeffrey Colton Sands and F-Zach Hale.

Sands, from Birmingham, MI, comes to Arkansas after two seasons playing junior hockey.  Most recently, the right-shooting defenseman played 40 games with the La Crosse Freeze in the NA3HL.  He recorded 9 total points for the Freeze (1 goal and 8 assists).  The prior season, in 2015-16, Sands played for the Motor City Hawks in the USPHL.  There, he contributed 5 points (3 goals and 2 assists) across 47 games.

Sands explains that his father, also a hockey player, introduced him to the sport at just three years old.  Sand then began playing competitively five years later.  Regarding his decision to attend the University of Arkansas, Sands (who plans to study Political Science) said,  “I am excited to play hockey at the University of Arkansas for many reasons, particularly the team’s dedication to academics.  I am also excited about the community support in a state where hockey is not well known.  Additionally, I look forward to learning from the coaching staff and living in beautiful Fayetteville.”

“Jeffrey protects the puck well in tight space and consistently makes the right outlet read in the defensive zone,” said Collin Hesse, Head Coach of the Division III team.  “Moreover, he is serious about both his academic and athletic career.  In that sense, he fits the precise mold of a Razorback Hockey player.”

Hale joins the Razorbacks after a season with the San Diego Sabers in the WSHL.  There, the right-shooting forward helped the Sabers reach the playoffs.  In high school, Hale played for Keller High in the USHS and contributed 24 total points (17 goals and 7 assists) in 33 games over two seasons.

As a lifelong resident of Ft. Worth, TX, Hale is a proud Dallas Stars fan and credits the team for his love of hockey.  He started skating at only three years old and moved into competitive hockey at five.  Said Hale, “Even at a young age, I knew I wanted to attend the University of Arkansas.  When I found out they had a hockey team, I immediately pursued the opportunity to play for the Razorbacks.”

“We’re excited about Zach’s speed and tenacity on the forecheck,” said Collin Hesse, Head Coach of the Division III team.  “We’ll look for Zach to be an energy guy for us and we look forward to his commitment level permeating throughout the program.”

Sands and Hale bring the 2017-18 recruiting class to twenty players from nine different states and three countries.  They join the following players:

F-Matt Hehr (College Station Spirit, NA3HL)
F-Jiri Trubacik (Cheyenne Stampede, WSHL)
F-Konnor Madsen (Long Beach Bombers, WSHL)
F-Andrew Pellegrino (Fresno Monsters, WSHL)
F-Sine Chadi (Long Beach Bombers, WSHL)
F-Sam Weidenbaum (Decatur Blaze, USPHL)
F-Triston Wilson (Euless Stars, NA3HL)
F/D-Paiute Morrison (Southern Oregon Spartans, WSHL)
D- Cal Owens (Long Beach Bombers, WSHL)
D-Corey Rees (Long Beach Sharks, NA3HL)
D-Kyle Dudley (Euless Jr. Stars, NA3HL)
D-Shaun Foster (SUNY-Canton, NCAA)
D-Kenatae Medure (Atlanta Capitals, NA3HL)
G-Dalton Baker (College Station Spirit, NA3HL)
G-Max Barr (Long Beach Bombers, WSHL)
G-Brock Thompson (Connecticut Nighthawks, EHL)
G-Rio Virgoe (Jersey Shore Wildcats, NA3HL)

The University of Arkansas is the only SEC school to field two hockey teams.  The Division I team has, since 2015, competed in the Western Collegiate Hockey Conference (learn more here).   The Division III team will in 2017-18 begin its eleventh season competing in the Southeastern Collegiate Hockey Conference (learn more here).  All home games are played at The Jones Center for Families in Springdale.

 

Razorbacks release 2017-18 Division I schedule

FAYETTEVILLE, AR — The University of Arkansas Men’s Ice Hockey Club today announced its 2017-18 schedule for the team’s 11th season in the American Collegiate Hockey Association and third at Division I. The schedule features a fan-friendly home slate of 19 weekend games at The Jones Center for Families in Springdale.

The Razorbacks are looking forward to this year’s campaign and look to improve on last seasons’ second Western Collegiate Hockey League campaign, which saw the team finish last during a challenging rebuilding 39 game season.  This year, the schedule features a 36 game regular season starting in September.

SEPTEMBER – OPENERS ON THE ROAD

The Razorbacks will begin their season on the road, unlike last year’s five consecutive home game openers.   The first puck drop of the season will be in Normal, IL, as the Hogs face off against Illinois State on September 8.   Last season, the team split a two-game series at Illinois State, with a 5-2 win and a 5-3 loss.

From September 22-23, the Hogs will travel to Pelham, AL, to challenge their archrival, the University of Alabama, who are also entering their third year of Division I play.  These two teams will meet again on the Hogs’ home ice in November.

The following weekend, September 28-30, the team will take a trip to Oklahoma to play conference foes University of Oklahoma (OU) and the University of Central Oklahoma (UCO).  The UCO Bronchos outscored the Hogs in two games in February 2017 and then went on to claim their second ACHA DI National Championship over Ohio University in March.

OCTOBER – A BRIEF STOP AT HOME

After three weekends on the road, the Razorbacks will finally return home to the Jones Center on Thursday, October 5, to face off against the University of Colorado Buffaloes.  The Buffs, ranked third in the conference last season, are fresh off a trip to the National Tournament and three victories over the Hogs last season.  Their traveling partner, Colorado State, will take the ice at the Jones Center on October 6 & 7.

After their meetings with the Buffs and the Rams, the Razorbacks will head to Gilbert, AZ, to challenge Arizona and Arizona State. Due to scheduling conflicts, all three games will be played in Gilbert rather than on home team ice.  First, the Hogs will battle the Arizona State Sun Devils on October 12.  The Sun Devils swept the Hogs in all three meetings last season.   This will be only the second meeting between the two teams.  The same can be said for another competitive WCHL team, the University of Arizona, who will play the Razorbacks on October 13 & 14 in Gilbert.

To wrap up the month of October, the Hogs will stop in Ames, IA, to battle Iowa State. This will be the first ever meeting between the Cyclones and the Razorbacks.

NOVEMBER – HOME SWEET HOME

In November, the Razorbacks enter a lengthy homestead that features 10 consecutive home games and the friendly atmosphere of a packed Jones Center.  First up are UCO and OU for the inaugural WCHL home series of the season on November 2-4.  Both teams prevailed over Arkansas when they last took the ice in Springdale.

The highlight of November will likely be the two-game series against Alabama on November 10-11.  The Razorbacks have prevailed over the Crimson Tide every time they have met on Razorback ice—dating back to the 2009-10 season.  At their last meeting in Springdale (November 2016), the Hogs won via an exciting 5-4 shootout victory.  Historically, the Alabama series are hard-fought games energized by a large (and passionate) home crowd.  Alabama went 19-14-2 last season—a program-best—so the Hogs expect another exhilarating match-up in November.

To wrap up November, Arizona and Arizona State come to visit the next weekend (November 16-18).  Last season, Arizona and Arkansas played an exciting two-game home series featuring a 5-4 overtime shootout loss for the Hogs in night one followed by a 5-4 regulation win for Arkansas in the second game.

DECEMBER – CONFERENCE RIVALS IN TOWN

For the final games of the first semester, the Hogs will host WCHL and long-time rival Missouri State on December 1 & 2.  When the Ice Bears last came to visit in February 2017, the Razorbacks split the series.  Arkansas dropped the initial contest, but rallied from a 3-1 deficit to score four unanswered goals and win 5-3 in front of a sold-out crowd.

JANUARY – BACK TO WORK

After months at home in Springdale and a brief holiday break, the Razorbacks will get back on the road to face Colorado State and University of Colorado–this time in their territory.  Then, January 26 & 27 will feature home games against McKendree’s Division II team.

FEBRUARY – THE FINAL PUSH FOR NATIONALS

February will be an exciting month for the Hogs, as they fight to qualify for the National Tournament for the first time.  First, they will travel up to Springfield, MO, to face a familiar foe—Missouri State.  Visiting the Ice Bears on their ice has proven to be a challenge for the Razorbacks in the past, as their home crowd packs quite the punch.

Returning home for a pair of games February 9-10, the Razorbacks will battle it out against the Illinois State Redbirds.  The Razorbacks have a mixed history with Illinois State: dating back to the 2015-2016 season, the Hogs are 3-5 overall.

Finally, on February 16 & 17, the Hogs will welcome first time visitor Lindenwood for their last two home games leading up to the National Tournament.  Last season, the Hogs traveled to Wentzville, MO, to meet the then-defending National Champion for the first time.  The Ice Hogs came home with two losses, but are looking forward to hosting the Lions in Springdale this year.

MARCH – NATIONAL TOURNAMENT

If the Razorbacks qualify for the National Tournament, hosted by the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets, they will travel to Columbus, OH, from March 10-15.  The Hogs look to make their first ever tournament appearance this year.

2017-2018 – A NEW SEASON

Last season saw, at best, mixed results, but the program generated late season momentum with a come-from-behind win over Missouri State and a first-ever shootout victory over Lindenwood-Belleville.  “We’re looking forward to applying the lessons we learned as a program last season,” said Brian Gallini, Head Coach of the Division I team.  “We set a goal in 2015 to make the National Tournament within the first five seasons of Division I play and we believe we remain on track toward that goal.”

“We’ve generated substantial momentum this off-season,” said Justin McDowell, Associate Head Coach of the Division I team.  “We believe in the recruiting class we’ve assembled and look forward to integrating them into our culture.”

Single game tickets for the 2017-18 regular season can be purchased on game day at the Jones Center.  Season passes will also be available.  Information about season passes will be released in August.  Please visit arhockey.westernchl.com for further information about the team.

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