DI hosts Missouri State; DIII headed to conference playoff

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On February 5 & 6, the #22 DI Hogs (14-15-2) are set to host WCHL conference rival, #20 Missouri State (17-17-0).  The Razorbacks enter the weekend on a four-game skid, having most recently dropped a pair of contests to the University of Oklahoma last weekend by 5-1 and 7-3 scores.  The Ice Bears, meanwhile, come to Springdale on a four game winning streak.  After dispatching DII Missouri by 10-1 and 4-0 scores earlier last month, Missouri State swept Illinois State last weekend in its final home series of the season.

The season is on the line for both clubs.  In order to safely make the National Tournament, the Hogs and/or Bears would likely need to be #18 or better in the National Rankings.  Although the top twenty ranked teams ostensibly make the final field, that number is reduced by other conferences who have both autobids and teams in those conferences that are outside the top twenty-five.  Stated differently, unranked teams who win an autobid conference will kick out ranked teams within the top 20.

The puck drops against Missouri State at 7 pm on Friday, February 5, and at 4:00 pm on Saturday, February 6.  Friday is Law Night and Saturday is Senior Night.

The season is on the line for DIII as well.  The DIII Razorbacks travel to the SECHC conference tournament to compete for the program’s sixth conference title.  Arkansas has never lost a game in the SECHC tournament in five previous appearances.  The DIII Hogs enter the critical weekend after having swept DII Kansas last weekend.  Arkansas opens the tournament as the #1 seed against LSU on Friday, February 5, at 8 pm.  The game will be broadcast live here.  A complete downloadable tournament bracket is below.

Meanwhile, the SECHC announced all-conference awards this week and five Razorbacks were recognized.

First Team ALL SECHC:
Ross Miller
Forest Mudgett
Sky Chambers

2nd Team ALL SECHC:
Hutton Kalik
Renaud Gaboury

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DI set to host #11 Oklahoma; DIII visits Kansas

A look at the crowd when OU last came to visit in 2014
A look at the crowd when OU last came to visit in 2014

Big crowds are expected this Friday and Saturday, January 29 & 30, when the #21 DI Razorbacks (14-13-2) welcome conference opponent #11 University of Oklahoma (15-8-4) to the Jones Center.  Puck drop on Friday night is at 8:30 pm and Saturday’s contest begins at 4:00 pm.  Entering the weekend, the conference standings place Oklahoma third with Arkansas sitting at fifth.

The Sooners arrive in Arkansas after having dropped a pair of games to #8 Colorado at home (6-0 and 5-4 (SO)).  The last time these two teams hooked up was much earlier in the season–on September 18 & 19–when the Hogs and Sooners split the series.  After dropping game one 4-3, the Razorbacks rebounded to earn a 3-2 victory in game two.  The Sooners own a 10-1 series lead in the four years the two programs have played.

Arkansas meanwhile enters the weekend after dropping a pair of games to Lindenwood-Belleville by 5-0 and 6-3 scores.  After being shutout in game 1, the Hogs kept the contest close in game 2 until the eight-minute mark of the third period.  With the score 3-2 in Lindenwood-Belleville’s favor, the Lynx suddenly notched three unanswered goals in a two-minute span.  Despite the disappointing result, the Hogs remain ranked #21 in this week’s national poll and are thus still very much in the post-season hunt.

D1 rankings

Meanwhile, the DIII Razorbacks (24-2-1, #7 Pacific) head back on the road for a two-game set against Kansas (DII).  The DIII Razorbacks split a pair of games against Pacific Region rival Missouri State, dropping game one 8-2 but rebounding to earn a victory in game two by a 6-2 score.

The Hogs and Jayhawks last met at the end of the first semester when Arkansas earned a sweep by 6-3 and 10-5 scores on December 4 & 5.  This meeting, however, will take place in Independence, Missouri, at 6:00 pm on January 29 with the series finishing at 1:00 pm on January 30.

The KU games mark the final regular season match-ups for the DIII Razorbacks before the SECHC tournament.  The SECHC conference tournament will take place February 5-7 and Arkansas will again enter the tournament as the #1 seed.

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DI welcomes Lindenwood-Belleville; DIII on the road at Missouri State

Screen Shot 2016-01-21 at 8.09.23 PMOn Friday and Saturday, January 21 & 22, the #21 DI Razorbacks (14-11-2) welcome the Lynx of Lindenwood-Belleville (19-4-0) to the Jones Center for the first time.  Puck drop on Friday night is at 8:30 pm and Saturday’s contest begins at 7:30 pm.

The Lynx arrive in Arkansas boasting some impressive numbers.  Despite being just second-year members of the ACHA, Lindenwood-Belleville has amassed a cumulative record of 48-6-1.  Having outscored opponents in their inaugural 14-15 campaign 236-45, the Lynx have posted similarly impressive offensive numbers again this season (118-57).

For its part, the DI Hogs enter the weekend on a two game winning streak and having taken 7 of the last 8 available points in the past four games dating back to last semester.  Doing so earned the Razorbacks a bump in the rankings to #21–the highest ranking for the team all season.  The team’s recent performance has also preserved its chance of earning an invite to the National Tournament–something no team has ever done following a move to Division I from Division III.

Meanwhile, the DIII Razorbacks (23-1-1, #7 Pacific) get on the road for a two-game set against Missouri State (9-17-0).  The Hogs and Bears meet at 9:45 pm in Springfield on Friday night and complete their series at 3 pm on Saturday.  Arkansas enters the weekend again having swept Southern Illinois by 13-0 and 6-2 scores, whereas the Bears just dropped a pair of games to Wisconsin-Platteville (8-2 and 5-4 scores).

 

DI Hogs sweep Midland; Lindenwood-Belleville up next

Screen Shot 2016-01-16 at 12.15.42 AMThe Division I Razorbacks (14-11-2) kicked off 2016 the right way, with a sweep of the Midland Warriors (13-8-4) on Thursday and Friday, January 14 & 15.  The two teams met in Springdale back on November 13 & 14 when the Razorbacks notched a victory in game one–4-3 in overtime–but dropped game two in regulation 3-2.

Despite the pair of close November contests, the start of 2016 placed some distance between the two teams as the Razorbacks cumulatively outscored the Warriors 9-4 in two games and never trailed in six total periods.  The pair of wins marked the second sweep for the Hogs of a Division I opponent this season–the first being a pair of 4-1 wins over Alabama on 10/30 & 10/31.

The Lynx of Lindenwood-Belleville are next up for the Division I Razorbacks.  In the Razorbacks’ first series of the 15-16 season, the Lynx swept the Hogs by 7-5 and 6-0 scores on September 11 & 12.  Although Arkansas jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first September game, the Lynx climbed back into the see-saw affair to earn the victory behind five power play goals.  Game two of that early season series was far less competitive; the Lynx poured on fifty-four shots and never trailed in the shutout effort.

Since then, Lindenwood-Belleville has amassed an impressive 19-4-0 overall record–a record that includes a shootout victory over Oklahoma.  Brad Edwards paces the Lynx offensively with 31 points (16 G, 15 A) while both Kyle Miller (8-2-0, 2.29 GAA) and Jackson Germaine (10-2-0, 2.49 GAA)  share goaltending responsibilities.

The upcoming series with the Lynx comes at a critical time when the Hogs look to make their final push toward the post-season.  With the Midland series complete, the Razorbacks will play their next eight consecutive games on home ice.  “It’s pretty simple:  we need our crowd,” said DI Head Coach Brian Gallini.  “We’ve always derived tremendous strength from our fans and this push will be no different.”

But this push is different–at least for the record books.  No program in the history of the ACHA has jumped from Division III to Division I and earned a trip to the Division I National Tournament in the first year.  Over the course of this month, Arkansas will look to do just that.

Face-off times are 8:30 pm on Friday, January 22, and 7:30 pm on Saturday, January 23.

 

Hogs hit the streets

Screen Shot 2016-01-12 at 2.05.17 PMOver the next two weeks, the Men’s Hockey team will be out in the community selling season tickets, selling game jerseys, and autographing schedules.  Come by and see us!

 

Schedule

  • January 12th, 12-4 pm @ Sam’s Club (3081 AR-112, Fayetteville, AR 72704)
  • January 13th, 12-4 pm @ Sam’s Club
  • January 17th, 2-6 pm @ Walmart Supercenter (3919 No. Mall Ave., Fayetteville, AR 72703)
  • January 18th, 12-4 pm @ Sam’s Club
  • January 19th, 12-4 pm @ Sam’s Club
  • January 20th, 12-4 pm @ Sam’s Club
  • January 21st, 12-4 pm @ Sam’s Club
  • January 24th, 2-6 pm @ Walmart Supercenter

Chris Weatherly becomes first 16-17 commit

UnknownThe Razorback Hockey team is pleased to announce that Chris Weatherly has formally committed to play at Arkansas.  A 5’9″ forward from Flower Mound, Texas, Weatherly currently plays for the NAPHL AAA HC Dallas program and, prior to that, completed two seasons with the HC Dallas 16U program.

Said Weatherly, “I’m excited to be joining the University of Arkansas team because I believe it’s a place where I can grow. The program is well­ run, with the coaching staff expecting the best from their players on and off the ice.”  Weatherly makes the second HC Dallas player to commit to Razorback Hockey–current Razorback, Christophe Jobin, played last season in the HC Dallas program.

Weatherly also expressed excitement about the University more generally.  “I know that not only will I enjoy my time playing hockey, but I will receive a high quality education while studying Exercise Science with the intent of becoming a physical therapist. Arkansas to me is the place where I can achieve all my goals: competing with a top­ notch hockey program and training for my future career.”

The Arkansas hockey program is currently in the middle of its first season fielding two programs.  At this, the holiday break, the Division I team is ranked #23 in the country with a 12-11-2 overall record while the Division III team sits at #7 in the Pacific Region with a 21-1-1 overall record.

The Division I & III schedules are available here and here.  Eight home games remain in the 15-16 season.  All home games are played at The Jones Center for Families in Springdale.

Hog Hockey program enters the break with both teams ranked

Screen Shot 2015-12-16 at 8.18.19 PMThe first semester with two teams is now complete and both teams enter the break sporting national rankings.  The Division I team heads into the holidays with a 12-11-2 record and a #23 national ranking.  First semester highlights include wins over #3 Central Oklahoma, #9 Colorado, #10 Oklahoma, #20 Missouri State, and a sweep of arch-rival Alabama.  With the exception of the Alabama victories, all of those wins came on the road as part of fourteen total first semester away games.

The second semester promises a friendlier environment as eight of the final regular season games will take place on home ice at the Jones Center.  During that critical final month of the season, which begins on January 14, the Hogs will look to repay an assortment of ranked teams for early-season disappointments.  First on the list is Midland, who came to Springdale in November and earned a split with the D1 Hogs.  Next up is Lindenwood-Belleville, a team that swept the Razorbacks in the first two games of the 15-16 campaign.  Arkansas will then play host to #10 Oklahoma and #20 Missouri State in four critical late-season tilts.

For its part, the D3 Hogs head home for the holidays with a 21-1-1 record, good for #7 in the Pacific Region.  Highlights for the D3 squad include sweeps of SEC-rival, Ole Miss, Division II Kansas, and Division II Augustana (twice).  Sporting a #1 ranking in the SECHC Coaches’ Poll, the D3 Hogs stand as the favorite to take the SECHC trophy back home to Fayetteville once again.  The D3 Razorbacks will open the second semester with a rematch against Southern Illinois, followed by games against Missouri State and Kansas before heading to Nashville for the SECHC playoffs.

The next home Razorback Hockey games will feature the Division I team taking on Lindenwood-Belleville on January 22 & 23.

DI and DIII Hogs both notch wins; back in action tomorrow night

Screen Shot 2015-12-03 at 10.36.09 AMOn Friday, December 4, the #23 DI Razorbacks (12-11-1) took on the #21 Missouri State Ice Bears in Springfield, Missouri.  After staking a 1-0 lead midway through the first period, the Ice Bears tied things up in the second.  With the score tied 1-1 entering the third, a pair of final frame goals sent the Hogs onto a 3-1 win.  Arkansas looks for the sweep against the Bears on Saturday at 7 pm.  The game will be broadcast live on Web Sports Radio.

Meanwhile, back home, the DIII Razorbacks (20-1-1, #5 Pacific) earned a 6-3 win over DII Kansas.  A game that began as a see-saw affair saw the Hogs trailing 2-1 in the third period.  But a 5 goal outburst in the third period, including a final empty-net goal, earned the Hogs a 6-3 victory and the team’s twentieth win on the season.  The DIII Razorbacks are home again on Saturday afternoon, December 5, at 4 pm for Senior Night.  Fans who are unable to attend the game can listen live on the program’s Mixlr feed.

DI heads for a rematch with National Champs; DIII returns home

Screen Shot 2015-11-19 at 1.25.08 PMThe #25 DI Razorbacks (10-10-1) head to Oklahoma City this weekend for a rematch with the #5 University of Central Oklahoma Bronchos.  Game times are 7:30 pm on Friday and Saturday nights at the Arctic Edge Ice Arena.  Both games will be broadcast live on FastHockey.com (PPV).

The Bronchos and Razorbacks last met on October 9 & 10 of this year when UCO visited Springdale.  The Bronchos swept the series by 4-1 (ENG) and 4-2 (ENG) scores.  UCO enters the weekend riding a seven game winning streak–a streak that most recently includes a pair of wins over #8 Colorado in Colorado.

Arkansas comes into the weekend after splitting a pair of games against Midland University–again in dramatic fashion.  Last Friday, the Razorbacks earned a come-from-behind overtime victory over the Warriors despite trailing for much of regulation.  The result changed on Saturday when the teams traded goals during regulation until the third period when the Warriors notched the game winner en route to a 3-2 win.  Last weekend’s split dropped the team two spots in the national ranking–to #25 overall.

Meanwhile, the #5 DIII Hogs (17-1-1) return home for a pair of games against Division III Southern Illinois-Edwardsville.  The two teams have not met since January 11 & 12, 2013 when the Hogs collected dominant 16-1 & 17-1 wins.  Southern Illinois has not played since October 16 & 17 when they were blown out 13-2 and 13-1 at the hands of Missouri State.

The DIII Razorbacks picked up a pair of wins last weekend, defeating Augustana by 6-3 and 6-2 scores.  Puck drop this weekend is 8:30 pm on Friday night and 4:00 pm on Saturday afternoon.  Friday night is Cancer Awareness Night.

Oliver becomes first Hog alum to play professional hockey

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Easton Oliver rushes the puck up ice against Missouri State

The University of Arkansas Men’s Ice Hockey program is proud to announce that Easton Oliver (’15) has signed with the Brewster Bulldogs of the Federal Hockey League.  In doing so, Oliver becomes the first Razorback Hockey alum to crack the professional ranks.

Oliver, who wears #5 for the Bulldogs, played in the #39 jersey for the Razorbacks for parts of six seasons, during which time he helped the team win five SECHC titles and earn three National Tournament appearances.  Oliver played in 122 games for the Hogs, potting 26 goals alongside 70 assists for a total of 96 points.  He served as the team’s co-captain during the 14-15 season and was selected as an assistant captain for the 13-14 season.  “We’re proud but hardly surprised that Easton received this opportunity; Easton represents everything this program stands for,” said Division I Head Coach Brian Gallini.  “Developing coachable hard-working players like Easton is what we do.”

Reflecting on his Razorback Hockey career, Oliver commented, “Razorback Hockey showed me another dimension of professionalism when it came to hockey. The program gave me the drive and confidence I needed to elevate myself to something that seemed so distant.”  He added, “[t]he organization not only gave me the tools to pursue seemingly impossible things, but it also gave me a support system that most don’t have in their lives.  I am eternally grateful for that.”

In December of 2014, Oliver was chosen as a defenseman and assistant captain for the Division III ACHA Selects team, which traveled to Switzerland, Germany, Slovakia and Slovenia to play a five game series.  The trip reinforced Oliver’s dream to play professional hockey following graduation.

A 2015 graduate with a degree in Mechanical Engineering, Oliver first suited up for the Bulldogs last weekend.  In the second game of the weekend, a 6-5 comeback win against the Danbury Titans–Oliver assisted the Bulldogs’ fourth goal, his first professional point.

Asked about earning his first professional experience, Oliver responded, “I want to personally thank everybody that helped me through it all, particularly my family, friends, coaches, and teammates. But more broadly, I am forever indebted to all those who gave me their time, money and love. I hope to pay it forward as my life goes on and I will never forgot everyone during my journey who helped make this dream come true. Thank you.”

Oliver will be back in the lineup tonight when the Bulldogs take on the Danville Dashers at 7:35 pm EST.