DI & DIII double-header on tap for this weekend

Photo credit: Edward Matthews

This weekend, on January 20 and 21, the University of Arkansas Men’s Hockey program will host its second ever double-header featuring both the Division I and Division III teams.  On Friday, January 20, the puck drops at 7:30 pm as the Division I team plays host to the #16 Midland Warriors (16-10-0) and Division III hosts Pacific Region rival Dordt College (7-12-1) at 9:45 pm.

The Division I team enters the weekend have dropped three consecutive games on the road in Arizona.  On Thursday, January 12, the DI Hogs lost to Arizona 8-3 despite entering the third period trailing 3-2.  Then, on January 13, the Razorbacks lost a narrow 5-4 decision to #4 Arizona State.  After going up 2-0 on the Sun Devils, Arkansas had a third goal controversially waved off during a 5-on-3 power play.  The Hogs carried a 4-3 lead into the third period before the Sun Devils tied the game early in the third on a power play goal and notched the game winner with under five minutes remaining in regulation.  Arizona State would then take the rematch in a less competitive 8-0 affair on January 14.

The Midland Warriors visit the Jones Center having recently swept top-25 foe #25 Indiana Tech.  Arkansas and Midland split a series in Nebraska earlier in the season.  After the Hogs took down the Warriors by a narrow 5-4 margin on on November 11, Midland rebounded in a penalty-laden affair to shut out the Razorbacks 4-0 on November 12.  The last time the Warriors visited, the Hogs beat the Warriors in overtime on November 13, 2015, but Midland notched game two by a close 3-2 score on November 14, 2015.

Meanwhile, Division III enjoyed staying at home when their games against McKendree University were canceled by mutual agreement.  With an unexpected bye weekend, the DIII Hogs enter this weekend’s series well rested while Dordt enters having recently been swept by Nebraska.

The weekend kicks off at 7:30 pm on Friday, January 20, when the Division I Hogs face Midland.  Then, at 9:45 pm, the DIII Razorbacks face off against the Dordt Blades.  On Saturday, the DI Hogs and Warriors tangle again at 4 pm with the DIII Razorbacks facing the Blades in an 8:00 pm rematch.

Ticket information here.

Broadcast information here.

DI starts three day swing through Arizona

Photo credit: Edward Matthews

On January 12, 2017, the #33 University of Arkansas Men’s Division I hockey team (6-17-2) rings in the New Year against the #20 University of Arizona (11-12-1).  Arkansas has not played for over a month, having closed down the first semester in early January at Missouri State.  For its part, Arizona has played a pair of games against Arizona State, having split the series last weekend.  After taking game 1 against the Wildcats by a 7-2 score, the fell to Arizona State 12-4 in game 2.

These two teams last hooked up when Arkansas hosted the Wildcats on October 28-29.  The exciting back and forth series featured 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.  The puck drops on Thursday, January 12, at 8:30 pm CST and fans can watch the game live at game time here.

When the game ends, the Razorbacks will travel to Tempe ninety minutes away to settle in for a pair of games against the #4 Arizona State Sun Devils (18-4-0).  The Razorbacks’ lone meeting against ASU came on a Thursday night back in Springdale when, on October 27, the Sun Devils handed the Hogs a 5-2 loss.  Game times for the series are 9 pm CST on Friday, January 13, and 8 pm CST on Saturday, January 14.

Following this road trip, the Hogs return home for a critical nine game home stand.  That stand opens with a rematch against the #16 Midland Warriors.  Game times for the January 20 & 21 series are 7:30 and 4:00 pm, respectively.

First semester winds down

Photo credit: Edward Matthews

The University of Arkansas Men’s Hockey program concluded play earlier this month, closing down an uneven first semester of play.  After a strong start that saw the Division I team sweep its first opponent of the season, the Hogs struggled on the road for a large part of the semester.  The combination of numerous road games, a double-digit number of new faces, and one of the most competitive schedules in the nation produced a program record eight-game losing streak.

But despite the semester’s challenges, the young Razorback squad saw numerous positive moments including a 5-2 road win against Illinois State, a 5-4 come from behind road win against Midland, and an overtime shootout win against arch-rival Alabama.  And, as the semester progressed, so too did the team’s offensive development; the Hogs produced three or more goals in six of the final seven games of the semester.

The second semester promises the friendly confines of a packed Jones Center.  After a three game swing through Arizona to start the second semester, Arkansas returns home for a critical nine game stretch–all against ranked opponents.  The season’s second half kicks off in the New Year on January 12 against conference-rival Arizona at 9:30 pm.

For its part, the Division III Hogs finished the semester with an overall 10-15-0 record.  First semester highlights for the DIII squad included a season opening victory against SEC foe Ole Miss, a sweep of Division II Texas State, a sweep of Pacific Region rival McKendree University, and a 6-4 win over Vanderbilt.  Division III resumes play on the road on January 13 against McKendree.  The DIII Hogs will play eight total remaining regular season games before traveling to Nashville, Tennessee, for the SECHC Conference Playoffs on February 10-12.

Big final tests loom for both DI & DIII

Photo credit: Edward Matthews
Photo credit: Edward Matthews (more photos here)

On December 2 & 3, the Division I University of Arkansas Men’s Hockey team will travel to Springfield, Missouri, to renew their rivalry with the Missouri State Ice Bears.  The teams split a pair of games during the 15-16 season beginning with December 4 & 5, 2015, games in Springfield, where the Hogs earned a 3-1 victory on night one but dropped a heart-breaker in overtime 2-1 to close the series.  Back in Springdale in February of 2016, the Hogs again took game one, this time by a larger margin–8-4–but again missed the opportunity to pick up the sweep by dropping game two in a shootout, 5-4.

The Division I Hogs (6-15-2) will enter the series playing some of their best hockey all season.  Arkansas has gone 3-1-1 in their last five and, most recently, took down Alabama in a shootout at home in front of a capacity crowd (pictured above).  For its part, Missouri State (11-15-0) will enter the series having split a pair of games against Alabama.  After defeating the Frozen Tide by a narrow 6-5 margin on Friday, November 18, the Bears dropped game two 8-5.  Just one weekend earlier, the Bears swept #5 Iowa State by 3-2 and 4-3 scores, respectively.  The puck drops at 7:00 pm CST on both Friday and Saturday.  Ticket information is here and broadcast information is here.

Back in Springdale, the Division III Hogs (10-13-0) will play host to Missouri State’s Division III team (14-4-2) on December 2 & 3.  Arkansas is fresh from its appearance at the Clash of the Corn in Dordt, Iowa, where the team went 1-2 in three games.  After losing to Aurora 6-3 in game one, the Razorbacks rebounded to knock off Marquette 7-3, but then dropped its final contest 8-1 to Wisconsin-Platteville.  For its part, Missouri State’s hot start has cooled somewhat; the DIII Ice Bears have gone 1-3 in their last four.  Most recently, the Bears split a pair of games against Wisconsin-Platteville.

The puck drops at 8:00 pm CST at the Jones Center on both Friday and Saturday nights.  Ticket information is here and radio broadcast information is here.


Change of plan: Alabama will visit Springdale

Photo credit: Edward Matthews
Photo credit: Edward Matthews


Alabama to visit the Jones Center on November 20

Fayetteville, AR – November 11 – In an exciting change of schedule, the neutral site game between the Division I Razorbacks and arch-rival Alabama has been moved to Springdale.  Initially scheduled to take place in Springfield, Missouri, the teams recently reached an agreement for the game to be moved to Springdale.  The critical contest will take place on Sunday, November 20, at 2 pm and will mark the only meeting between the two teams during the 16-17 season.

Ranked for much of the season to this point, the Alabama Frozen Tide (7-6-1) has enjoyed wins over West Virginia, John Carroll, Oklahoma, and Liberty—among others. Last weekend, the Tide appeared at the Buffalo Meltdown tournament where they went 1-2-0 overall.  After dropping their first game to Western Michigan 7-5, the Tide rebounded to defeat Canisius 7-2 before falling on the tournament’s final day to Syracuse by a 7-2 margin.  The Tide will play host to Division III Middle Tennessee State this weekend before traveling to Missouri State next weekend for a pair of games against the Ice Bears before making the short trek to Springdale.

Like Arkansas, Alabama is a second-year Division I team, but the two teams are no stranger to one another.  The historically heated rivalry dates back to 2008 when the Tide swept the inaugural series.  The back and forth series last convened in October of 2015 in Springdale, Arkansas, when Arkansas defeated Alabama 4-1 in both contests.

The teams have just one common opponent this season entering the single game series–Oklahoma.  The Tide split with Oklahoma back in September.  After dropping game one 4-0 on September 15, Alabama rebounded to earn a resounding 9-2 victory over the Sooners the next night.  The Hogs did not have similar success against the Sooners.  Although both games were competitive and saw Arkansas in the lead for significant stretches of the series, Oklahoma ultimately swept the Razorbacks by 5-4 and 3-1 (ENG) scores on September 30 and October 1.

The puck will drop at the Jones Center at 2 pm on November 20.  The game is sure to sell out so plan to arrive early.

DI hits the road to see #16 Midland; DIII welcomes Pacific Region rival

Photo credit: Edward Matthews

On November 11 & 12, the University of Arkansas Division I Men’s Ice Hockey (4-14-2) team travels to Fremont, Nebraska to take on the #16 Midland Warriors (9-7-0).  The puck drops at 7:30 pm on Friday and 4:00 pm on Saturday.  Midland University will broadcast the games here.

The Warriors enter the series having recently been swept last weekend in a pair of close games (4-2 and 4-3 losses) against #7 Robert Morris.  The sweep aside, Midland is enjoying a stellar season having already compiled a pair of wins against #23 Colorado State University, a win over #18 Indiana Tech, and a shootout win over #8 Jamestown University.  Junior forward Sam Turner leads the way for the Warriors, having already put up 32 points in 14 games.  In goal, 6’3″ freshman Dakota McDonald has started 9 games and posted an impressive 2.60 GAA and .921 save percentage.

Coming off of their lone bye weekend, the DI Hogs are 1-1-1 in their last three games.  The Razorbacks were last in action at home against #2 Arizona State and Arizona.  On October 27, Arkansas dropped a competitive contest 5-2 to Arizona State (listen to a recap here) but rebounded on October 28 to earn a WCHL league point by taking Arizona to overtime before losing in a shootout.  Then, in the third game in three days, the Hogs earned their first WCHL win by defeating the Wildcats 5-4.

Arkansas owns an 6-2 lifetime record over Midland, dating back to 2014.  Last season, the two teams split a pair of games in Springdale before Arkansas swept the Warriors on the road to open the second semester.

Back home, the DIII Razorbacks (7-11-0) will host Pacific Region rival McKendree University (2-8-0) in a pair of games at the Jones Center this Friday and Saturday night.  The puck drops on both nights at 8 pm.  For the Hogs’ part, Arkansas looks to build on the momentum generated by last weekend’s 6-4 victory over Vanderbilt.  November 11 is the program’s first ever Veteran’s Night and the team will wear special camouflage jerseys to commemorate the event.

DI heads into lone bye weekend; DIII welcomes Vanderbilt to the Jones Center

Photo credit: Edward Matthews

On Friday and Saturday, November 4-5, the Division III Razorback Hockey team (6-10-0) welcomes the Vanderbilt Commodores (4-1-1) to the Jones Center for a pair of crucial conference tilts.  Coming off of a challenging trip to Nebraska, the Razorbacks look to get back to their winning ways against a talented Commodore hockey team.  While in Lincoln last weekend, the Hogs dropped pair of games to the Huskers by 9-3 and 7-1 margins.

As the Razorbacks challenged the Huskers, the Commodores were tangling with the Division I Frozen Tide.  In its biggest win to date, Vanderbilt defeated the Tide by a 3-1 (ENG) margin.  Among other victories, Vanderbilt has defeated Notre Dame, Georgia Tech, and South Carolina.  Vanderbilt will make just its second trip to the Jones Center.  The Commodores last made the drive to Springdale on December 10, 2011, when the Hogs notched a 13-0 win.

More recently, the Hogs and Commodores split their regular season series last season.  On October 10, 2015, the Razorbacks defeated the Commodores by a narrow 2-1 margin before succumbing to Vanderbilt in game two the next day by a 5-0 margin.  The teams met again in the post-season last year when, in the third place game at the SECHC tournament, the Arkansas escaped with a 3-2 win.

The puck drops at 8:00 pm on Friday and 4:00 pm on Saturday.  Friday night is “Pink the Rink” where students with their ID get in free.

Broadcast info:
Listen to a live play by play for both games-

*Live stream for Friday 11/4-

*Live stream for Saturday 11/5-

*Subject to change

#15 Arizona visits Arkansas for Pink the Rink this weekend


Photo credit:  Richard Hovey

#15 University of Arizona (5-4) @ University of Arkansas (3-14-1)

Puck Drop: Friday, October 28th at 7:30pm
Location: The Jones Center Springdale, AR
Broadcast: mixlr.com/hoghockey
Author credit: http://droptheglovesproductions.com/

The Division I Arkansas Razorbacks will play a two game set against the Arizona Wildcats following their Thursday night loss to the Arizona State Sun Devils, 5-2. Arizona comes into the game off of a win against Missouri State in Springfield, taking down the Bears 5-3, and improving to a winning record.

Arkansas will not be an easy out tomorrow night, and should have the Jones Center rocking as they don pink in support of breast cancer awareness for their annual Pink the Rink night.

Coach Gallini will have a lot of preparing to do in a short amount of time to get ready for the Wildcats.

Three Things to Watch

  1. Hogs Top-Line Production

The Razorbacks have clung to the goal-scoring prowess of their top scorers all year.Tomorrow, the duo of Matt Robinson and Luc Gradisar will have to produce yet again to keep the young Hogs in the game early, and hopefully set up for the win late. Arkansas’ top duo accounts for 35% of their total goals scored this year, and will need to score this weekend to ensure victory.

  1. Arizona’s Special Teams

The Wildcats are not strong in either area on special teams, scoring on less than 10% of their power plays and being an average team when shorthanded. Their success could hinge on being disciplined, and forcing the young Razorbacks into mistakes. Arizona has three players above 15 penalty minutes through just eight games, so staying out of the box and not letting the potent Arkansas power play go to work will be critical in stealing a win on the road.

  1. Time to Step Up

No question Arkansas is still trying to get their legs under them this far into the season. However, the team has not seen a whole lot of consistent production from all of their players on a given night. Every player has shown their talent, and it’s time for them to gel in order to snap the losing streak and get back in the win column. Coach Gallini will be looking to players such as Tobias Sjolund and Alec Morris to step up and show their talent.

Final Analysis

This is a winnable series for the Hogs. Despite the close losses in the past couple of weeks, the Razorbacks really do a whole lot of things correctly. Coach Gallini has given the players the keys to success, but they haven’t quite put together a full 60 minutes in some time, making crucial mistakes in key moments and losing tight games. However, fortunes can change at any time, and catching the Wildcats at the end of a road trip might be the spark they need to get back on the winning track.

#16 Arizona State in town tonight

Photo credit: Richard Hovey
Photo credit: Richard Hovey

#16 Arizona State University (6-1) @ University of Arkansas (3-14)

Puck Drop: Thursday October 27th at 8:30pm
Location: The Jones Center Springdale, AR
Broadcast: mixlr.com/hoghockey
Author credit: http://droptheglovesproductions.com/

On Thursday night, the Arkansas Razorbacks Division 1 hockey team welcomes WCHL foe Arizona State to town for their first ever matchup with the Sun Devils. Coming off losing their last two at home against Illinois State, the Hogs are hoping to get back on track against the #16 team in the ACHA.

ASU returns to the WCHL this season after taking a year off while their NCAA D1 program got under way. The Sun Devils are picking up right where they left off, starting the season 6-1 (2-1, WCHL) while climbing in the ACHA rankings each week. The team that won the ACHA Division 1 National Championship in 2013-2014, and back to back WCHL regular season championships in the two years before their hiatus is once again looking like a contender.

The Razorbacks came into the season with moderate expectations from the WCHL, picked to finish 7th in the league, and have struggled to find their footing. After winning their first 2 games, the Hogs lost 14 out of 15 games, dropping them out of the ACHA top 25.  The record doesn’t tell the whole story as the D1 squad has lost nine games by 2 goals or less. With a system heavy program, Coach Gallini hopes his men can turn their season around by winter break.

Three Things to Watch

  1. Arkansas’ Goaltending

The Hogs have a trio of goalies that can step in on any given night, all of whom have a GAA near or above 4.00. The Sun Devils are averaging exactly 4 goals per game so it can be expected that they will score 4 goals. Can the Hogs offense keep up? With 60 goals in 17 games, Arkansas is just a shade under 4 goals per game. So, whichever Arkansas goalie gets the nod for this game will be relied on heavily to keep the score close.

  1. ASU’s Ostertag(s)

The Sun Devils field a couple of men name Ostertag, Dylan and Ryan. With a combined 19 points on the season, the duo makes up 27.5% of the offense. Add in forward Michael Cummings and you get 42% of all the points on the team. What does this mean for Arkansas? If they can slow the top scorers on the Sun Devils and force the rest of the team to beat them, they can significantly increase their chances of getting the victory.

  1. Hogs in the Pen

The Razorbacks penalty kill has been poor this season. At 76.8%, they rank 318th in the ACHA. With 253 penalty minutes on the year (that’s 14 minutes per game!); the Hogs will be in trouble if they continue this trend. Penalties happen, but they will need to eliminate the unnecessary ones, many occurring after the whistle. The good news is the Sun Devils power play hasn’t exactly been spectacular (10.2%), but it would be best to not even give them the chance.

Final Analysis

On paper, Arizona State appears to be the better team. They have the better record and are ranked higher both in the ACHA and the WCHL. If common opponents mean anything, ASU beat OU 3-1 while the Hogs lost 5-4 and 3-1, and Arkansas lost to Central Oklahoma 3-1 while the Sun Devils beat the Bronchos 7-4 before losing the rematch 3-2. Arizona State will be a tough out for the Hogs, but the final result may be closer than most might think. It’s a long trip from Tempe and when the crowd gets going at the Jones Center, it’s a tough place to play. Let’s hope the fans come out in full force this week and rattle the Sun Devils by Calling the Hogs!

DI finally returns home; set to battle Illinois State

Photo credit: Richard Hovey

On Friday and Saturday, October 21-22, the Division I Razorback Hockey team (3-12-0) welcomes the Illinois State Redbirds (5-5-0) to the Jones Center.  Coming off of a challenging Colorado swing, the Razorbacks look to get back to their winning ways against a talented Redbird hockey team.  While in Colorado last weekend, the Hogs dropped a trio of games–first to Colorado State last Thursday and Friday, and finally to Colorado University on Saturday.

As the Razorbacks challenged foes out West, the Redbirds were up North tangling with Oakland University.  In their first game last Friday, Illinois State came up just short, losing 6-4 (ENG) but rebounded on Saturday to notch a 3-0 win.  Illinois State will make just its second trip to the Jones Center where the programs will play their seventh and eighth respective games against one another.

Entering the series, the Hogs are 3-3 overall against the Redbirds.  Dating back to last season, the Hogs and Birds split a pair of overtime thrillers at the Jones Center on November 6 & 7 of 2015.  After the Hogs dropped game 1 by a 3-2 overtime score, Arkansas rebounded to win 5-4 in overtime in game 2.  The two teams have already played twice this season earlier this month in Normal, Illinois, where Arkansas first notched a 5-2 win on October 7, but dropped a competitive 5-3 contest the next day.

The puck drops at 7:30 pm on both Friday and Saturday nights.