The #17 Razorbacks traveled to Springfield, Missouri this past weekend to play three games in three days against #7 Purdue, Michigan-Flint, and Ferris State in the Annual Route 66 Showcase hosted by Missouri State.
Game one against #7 Purdue was a test for the Hogs. Freshman Sam Karraker opened up the scoring for the Razorbacks a little over halfway into the First period. Sophomore Thomas Verble quickly followed it up with a second goal for the Razorbacks to take a 2-0 lead over Purdue. Purdue would respond with two more goals in the second and third periods to tie it up. With less than 10 seconds remaining in regulation, Sophomore Connor Chapman broke free on a breakaway to secure the Razorback victory over a top 10 opponent!
Game two against Michigan-Flint saw Arkansas jump out to an early lead. Trevor Borlace got the Hogs on the board early, however, Michigan-Flint followed up with a quick one to even the score. Brian Romero would cap things off in the first with another to put the Hogs up 2-1 heading into the second period. Michigan-Flint would score one more time before the Razorbacks would score five unanswered goals, courtesy of Brayden Asher, James Duenwald (2), Kyle Patterson, and Tanner Freeman. The Hogs ultimately defeated the Wolverines, 7-2 to go 2-0 heading into game three against Ferris State.
The Razorbacks would be without captain Kyle Crews after he suffered an injury at the end of the second period against Michigan-Flint. Game three would quickly become the most important game of the weekend, as the Hogs would need to limit goals allowed to less than two to secure the Route 66 Showcase Championship. Fortunately, the Razorbacks did just that. A four goal performance from James Duenwald, and goals from Kyle Patterson, Trevor Borlace, Cade Venuk, Connor Chapman, Tyler Book, and Chris Yonce would put the Hogs past the Bulldogs, 10-1, securing yet another Championship at the Rout 66 Showcase, going 3-0 and giving up the least amount of goals on the weekend!
The victory over the Bulldogs also signified an important milestone for Head Coach Keller Sims. Coach Sims would secure his 150th victory as coach of the Razorbacks. Coach Sims has been behind the bench since the 2017-18 season and has helped lead the Hogs to five nationals appearances in six seasons and two conference championships.
Arkansas returns to the Jones Center next weekend as your Hogs will host division rival Missouri State in the first two games of the four game Battle of the Ozarks Series. Fridays game time will be 7:30 PM and Saturdays puck drop is set for 3:15 PM.