Arkansas and Oklahoma Split Weekend Series in OKC

This past weekend your Hogs traveled to Oklahoma City for their first road trip of the season for a two game set against DI University of Oklahoma. Arkansas entered the game 2-0 following last weekends sweep of ETBU at home. The series would be Oklahoma’s first games and home opening weekend.

The hogs pushed the pace of play from the opening drop of the puck on Friday night. Senior Griffin Sugasawara netted the opening goal on the power play at 10:55 in the first period on assists from defensemen Cameron McAtee and Kevin LaPlante. The Sooners would answer with a shorthanded goal from Marshall Rushing with 1:47 remaining in the frame, and the first period would end in a 1-1 tie.

The Hogs wasted no time regaining the lead, when Senior Nick Valentini beat the Oklahoma net-minder with a top shelf bullet coming down the left side to put Arkansas ahead 2-1 with 17:01 remaining in the second. Sugasawara inked his name on the score sheet again with 6:30 remaining in the second period. Following passes from Pavel Salter and Brad Estrada, Sugasawara walked the puck into the low slot before making a nifty move to leave the Oklahoma goaltender flailing and neatly tucked the puck into the net.

The Razorbacks never looked tired in the third, keeping up their physical play and speed to keep the game out of reach. Junior Michael Ellis netted the Hogs fourth goal, and second powerplay goal, with 5:17 left in the third to ice the game. Arkansas looked good on the power play all night, and following good heads up passing from McAtee and Zach Wilson, Ellis was able to send a low shot past a screen in front for the final goal of the game.

Senior Jozef Dusenka made his first start of the season, making several spectacular saves; on the way to recording his first win of the season. Arkansas outshot Oklahoma 31-20 in the game.

Despite a strong start and good pace to the game, Arkansas found itself in penalty trouble early on Saturday night. Oklahoma opened the scoring 4 minutes into the game following a power-play goal by Tristan Glass. The rest of the first period was a back and forth affair, with both teams trading scoring chances and physical play.

The second period was tightly contested by both teams. The teams ran into penalty trouble during the second frame with seven infractions called collectively. Oklahoma struck again on the powerplay with 2:45 left in the period on a goal by Marshall Rushing. Arkansas quickly answered with a powerplay goal of their own a little over a minute later with a goal scored on a blast by senior defensemen Cameron McAtee, assisted by Zach Wilson.

Keeping with the theme, both teams fought for every inch of ice in the third period, with the Hogs keeping up the pressure searching for the equalizing goal. Oklahoma broke through with 3:05 left in the period on an odd-man rush, with a shot from Oklahoma’s Trevor Finch barely squeaking through. Oklahoma would tally an empty netter to complete the scoring on the weekend, and the game would end with a final of 4-1.

Freshman Grady Reis played well in his second start of the season, keeping Arkansas in the game with several tremendous saves throughout. Arkansas outshot Oklahoma again 31-28.