From Arkansas Hockey
Your Razorbacks finished the month of November with an 8-0 record following their run at the Route 66 Showcase, sweeps of MACHA rivals Nebraska and Kansas, and a season sweep of division opponent North Texas this past Sunday. These performances helped the Hogs jump 12 spots to #8 in the ACHA national rankings in the most recent release on November 19th.
The Hogs began the month of November in Springfield, MO looking to defend their crown as reining 2019 Route 66 Champions. The showcase was not held in 2020 due to COVID-19. The Hogs started the showcase with their first ever meeting against Butler University. Following a 0-0 draw in the first period, the floodgates would open, seeing Arkansas net seven on their way to a 7-1 victory.
Next was a match up with unbeaten #11 University of New Mexico. Arkansas was able to jump out to an early lead, and withstand some third period penalty trouble to outlast New Mexico 3-2 in a physical and tightly contested game. Sundays final game saw both remaining undefeated teams in the tournament square off to decide who would leave with championship trophy. Arkansas utilized a fast start to put #12 Miami (OH) on their heels early, netting 4 goals in the first period. Arkansas rarely looked out of control throughout, winning 5-1, and successfully defending their title as tournament champions.
Arkansas would return home with the goal of starting another home winning streak after their near three year home unbeaten streak was snapped by Missouri State in their final game of October. The weekend would mark a showdown of MACHA division leaders as the South leading Razorbacks faced off against the North leading Nebraska Cornhuskers. Arkansas picked up where they left off in Missouri, with a physical and hard fought, 4-1 win on Friday night. The Razorbacks controlled the pace of the game, keeping play in the Cornhusker end, ultimately outshooting the opposition 43-11.
The Saturday match up between both teams would be a much more back and forth affair. After trading goals in the first period (2-2), second period (3-3), and third period (4-4), Senior Captain Zach Wilson found the back of the net on the power-play with just 14 seconds remaining in the game to give the Hogs the 5-4 victory and weekend sweep of Nebraska.
This past weekend Arkansas traveled to Independence, MO to face off with long time rival University of Kansas. While Arkansas has owned the series of late, as always these games did not disappoint, as teams traded goals early and often throughout the weekend. Arkansas would secure a 6-3 win on Friday night and a 9-6 win on Saturday afternoon to complete the sweep.
Arkansas returned home for a Sunday afternoon matinee match up with division foe North Texas, and a focus on improving their defensive play after allowing 9 goals to Kansas on the weekend. Not only did the Hogs improve their defensive play, their offense exploded for 19 goals in the game, winning 19-1 to complete the season sweep of North Texas.
Following the Thanksgiving break, Arkansas will return for their final games of the semester, traveling to South Division rival Mizzou on December 3rd and 4th. This will mark the first meetings between the two programs as MACHA opponents since Arkansas’ move from the SECHC last season. Arkansas is currently 4-0 in South Division play while Missouri enters the weekend at 3-3 in division games. The winner of each of the four divisions in MACHA play will earn a spot in the conference tournament held in St. Louis, MO in February.
(Originally published at https://arhockey.westernchl.com/?p=5282)