This past weekend, Arkansas traveled to the University of Central Oklahoma (Division I) for a two-game set. Looking to rebound from a disappointing weekend against Missouri State (Division II), the Razorbacks faced a more than stiff test in UCO. Entering the weekend, the Broncos were impressively ranked #9 in the nation and were riding a six game winning streak. When the two teams played last season, UCO dominated the Hogs by 9-1 and 10-2 scores respectively.
Things were, however, different in this series. Johnny Stromp opened the scoring for the Hogs at the 8:09 mark of the first period but UCO quickly struck back with a pair of goals of its own to take a 2-1 lead into the first intermission. Ryan Machos evened things up for the Razorbacks in the second period and the teams entered the second intermission tied 2-2. In the final frame, Marcel Toure blocked a UCO defenseman’s shot and carried the puck the length of the ice and scored at the 12:29 mark of the third. UCO tied the game again at 6:19 to play and that’s how the game would remain at the end of regulation. James Haddock scored the overtime game winner at the 3:19 mark and lifted the Hogs to its first ever victory over a Division I program.
Saturday’s game nearly told an identical story. Defenseman Travis Robbins opened the scoring for Arkansas at the 13:20 mark of the first period and Johnny Stromp added a powerplay goal early in the second period. UCO answered with a pair of second period goals and again sent the two teams into the second intermission tied 2-2. But similar magic was not to be on Saturday evening. Although the teams played one another tight, UCO scored three goals on six shots in the third period to lift the Bronchos to a 5-2 victory.
The weekend’s games sent Arkansas into the Thanksgiving break with an overall record of 17-5-0. When the team returns from the holiday, the Razorbacks will close out the first semester by hosting Division II Dallas Baptist on December 6 & 7. The puck drops at 8:30 pm on Friday at 4:00 pm on Saturday.