The #1 Arkansas Razorbacks (32-3-0) advanced to the SECHC Championship game on Saturday night in a wild 2-1 win over #4 Georgia (14-11-2). The Hogs came out quickly, creating several scoring opportunities and controlling much of the game in the early going. Despite the heavy pressure put on by Arkansas, they were unable to cash in. Georgia gained some life on a late Arkansas penalty, but the score remained 0-0 after 1 period.
After killing off the remainder of the penalty to start the 2nd period, the Griffin Sugasawara-Chris Stovall-Zach Wilson line went to work. Sugasawara found a loose puck on a net-front scramble to put the Razorbacks up 1-0 3 minutes into the period. Stovall and Wilson both assisted on the goal. After sustaining more pressure on the Georgia defense, the Hogs got into penalty trouble by giving Georgia a 5-on-3 advantage. The Dawgs were able to tie things up at 1 apiece on the 2-man advantage. But Arkansas would not be denied as they regained momentum, eventually drawing a Georgia penaltylate in the period. On the ensuing powerplay, Alex Kueser won the faceoff back to Dylan Odelein, who dished it off to Evan Kerr, who gave it right back to Odelein for the one-timer that found its way through traffic and into the top-left corner. That goal closed out the 2nd period with the Razorbacks on top 2-1.
In the third period, Arkansas and Georgia battled fiercely in what was one of the most intense periods of hockey the Razorbacks had been a part of all year. After a few questionable penalties were called on Arkansas, goaltender Jozef Dusenka came up huge. The Hogs survived the Georgia onslaught while down a man in the final minute to hold on for the 2-1 win and punch their ticket to the SECHC Championship. The win marked the 32nd victory of the season, setting a new program record for wins in a season. Dusenka was the Hogs first star of the game, stopping 22 of 23 shots for his 15th win of the season.
The Razorbacks will take on the #6 Ole Miss Rebels (17-6-0) Sunday, February 9th at 2:00pm. The Razorbacks and Rebels met in early December, with the teams splitting a pair of games. Ole Miss won the first game 3-1, and Arkansas won the second game 5-2. Arkansas owns the all-time record between the two teams at 17-7. Sunday’s game is slated for a 2:00pm puck drop and will be broadcasted for free here: Penalty Box Radio Facebook Page.
The University of Arkansas Men’s Hockey team plays in the Southeastern Collegiate Hockey Conference. The 2019-20 season will be the team’s thirteenth season as a member of the ACHA competing in Division III. The team’s schedule can be found here. All home games are played at The Jones Center for Families in Springdale.