This past weekend, the Arkansas Razorbacks returned to the Jones Center for their first games of the spring semester as the #10 Hogs hosted #4 Mizzou in a heated rivalry series.
Friday night was Ugly Sweater night as The Hogs hosted their first jersey auction of the season. It was a historic night at the Jones Center as the game was played in front of a record crowd of 1,038 fans! The crowd fueled the team early as the Razorbacks got things going, midway through the first, when Brenden Coon found the back of the net, assisted by JD Duenwald and Kyle Crews. Shortly after, Trevor Borlace responded with a second for the Hogs as they took a 2-0 lead on Mizzou early in the game. The Tigers would find the back of the net in the final minutes of the first to cut the lead in half. Despite being outshot the first two periods, Mizzou took the lead in the second, scoring twice, and the Hogs were forced to respond. In the final minutes of the second period, Brenden Coon scored his second of the game to tie the game once more, heading into the third period.
Unfortunately for the Razorbacks, the Tigers came out hot in the third period, scoring in the first two minutes of the frame, then again five minutes later. Mikey Gakhutishvilli scored to cut the Tigers lead back down to 1, but the Tigers responded 30 seconds later to seal the game. The Razorbacks dropped game one against Mizzou, 6-4. Despite this loss, it was an amazing night with a record breaking crowd.
Saturday afternoon, the Hogs returned to the ice for game two against Mizzou. Another great crowd of over 700 fans was treated to a fast paced and high scoring contest. Additionally, Sophomore, David “Mac” Markovich made his ACHA debut. Kyle Crews came out hot with two quick goals 1:12 apart. Kyle Patterson would add to the lead a few minutes later giving the Hogs a 3-0 lead. 10 minutes into the first, Mizzou cut into the Arkansas lead with two quick goals in 1:24 to make it 3-2 just 11:00 minutes into the game. Sam Karraker responded with one more goal to make it 4-2 heading into the second.
40 seconds into the second period, the Tigers would quickly cut into the Hogs’ two goal lead, making it 4-3. That would not matter as Mikey Gakhutishvilli scored two in a row, and Mac Markovich got his 1st collegiate goal in his first game. With one more Mizzou goal in the second period, the Hogs cruised into the third period with at 7-4 lead. After running into penalty trouble early in the 3rd period, Sam Karraker would find the back of the net one more time, following another Mizzou goal, and the Hogs would take game two on the weekend, 8-5.
Overall, the Mizzou Tigers took the season series, 3-1.
Arkansas will head to Springfield, MO this weekend for the final two games of the Battle of the Ozark’s series with MACHA rival #17 Missouri State. The games are scheduled for 7:00PM on Friday and 6:00PM on Saturday night at Jordan Valley Ice Park. The Fish Trophy will be on the line as the regular season series is tied at one a piece after the Hogs and Bears split the weekend series in Springdale earlier this season. Both games will be broadcast free on YouTube via Web Sports Radio. The Razorbacks will return to the Jones Center on Saturday February 3rd at 7:30PM and Sunday February 4th at 1:30PM, as the team hosts #2 Florida Gulf Coast University in their first ever trip to Arkansas.