The Razorback Hockey team is pleased to announce that G-Rio Virgoe has committed to play at the University of Arkansas. The 6’4” 205 lbs. left-catching goalie comes to Arkansas after a strong season with the Jersey Shore Wildcats in the NA3HL.
During 2016-2017, Virgoe played 25 games for the Jersey Short Wildcats, collecting 15 wins and amassing a .915% save percentage alongside a 2.91 GAA.
At the end of his regular season in April 2017, the Wichita Falls Wildcats in the NAHL called upon Virgoe to join them for their playoff series against the Lone Star Brahmas. Said Jersey Shore Head Coach, Corey Leivermann, “Rio was outstanding for us this past season. He was a leader on and off the ice and I am excited to follow Rio’s career at Arkansas. He will make an immediate impact.”
Before playing for the Wildcats, Virgo split his 2015-2016 campaign between the London Lakers and the Grey Highlands Bravehearts, both in the GMHL. Virgoe spent his first year in juniors with the Rochester Hawks of the MNJHL. In that first campaign, Virgoe posted a 0.88 GAA and 0.945 save percentage. In high school, Virgoe helped his HC Dallas U18 team reach the USA Hockey Nationals.
Hockey was a big part of Virgoe’s childhood in Allen, TX, as he started skating at just five years old. Virgoe explains that his father grew up playing hockey in Canada and introduced him to the sport. As a kid, he played every position on the ice but eventually settled on goalie because he “enjoyed getting hit with pucks.” Today, he says, he loves the “bond you form with your teammates and the fun, competitive environment.”
Regarding his choice to come to the University of Arkansas, Virgoe said, “It’s a great honor to continue my hockey career at the University of Arkansas while getting my business degree. After touring the campus and meeting the faculty, it was obvious Arkansas was the perfect choice for me.”
Virgoe becomes the sixth in the 2017-18 recruiting class that features players from four different states. Virgoe joins D-Kenatae Medure (Atlanta Capitals, NA3HL); D-Kyle Dudley (Euless Jr. Stars, NA3HL); G-Max Barr (Long Beach Bombers, WSHL); F/D-Paiute Morrison (Southern Oregon Spartans, WSHL), and D-Shaun Foster (SUNY-Canton, NCAA).
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.