After a month of practice and preparation, the Razorbacks opened the 2022-23 season on the road with a rivalry series against Missouri State. It would mark the first two games of the four game home-home season series between the two rivals, with the winner of the season series taking home the Battle of the Ozarks Trophy. After a rusty start to game one, the Hogs went back and forth with the Ice Bears for a combined 7 goals in the third period. The Hogs would ultimately drop game one of their MACHA division schedule, 6-5, and look to come out hard for game two of the Battle of the Ozarks.
Game two of the weekend featured a Razorback team looking to learn from their mistakes, and they did just that, scoring 2 goals in the first two minutes of the game. Junior goalie, Sam Haynes, shut down Missouri State as he stopped 23 of 25 shots. The Razorbacks dominated game two, defeating Missouri State 9-2. Sophomore forward Jason Gifford earned player of the game honors as he notched his first career ACHA goal.
The Razorbacks would have a week off following the road trip to Missouri State as they prepared for their home opener series against Dallas Baptist.
The Razorbacks’ home opener was highlighted with a ceremonial puck drop honoring Chip Excell, a longtime ACHA and professional official who lost his leg last May in a motorcycle accident. A sluggish 1st period saw the Razorbacks trailing DBU 3-1. The Hogs regrouped during the 1st intermission and came out in the 2nd period with 5 unanswered goals. The Hogs would ultimately continue their domination with 3 more goals as they put DBU to bed, 9-4, winning their first MACHA game of the season. Junior goalie Sam Haynes earned player of the game honors.
Game two against DBU saw much of the same result we experienced in game one, as sophomore goalie Grady Reis, and the Hogs cruised past DBU, 8-4 thanks to four goals by senior defenseman Cameron McAtee. This series saw breakthrough performances from the rookies when freshmen forwards Connor Chapman and Matthew Edestrand, scored their first collegiate goals during game one, and freshman defenseman Ethan Rogers earned player of the game honors in game two.
The Hogs moved to 18-0 all time against the Patriots. Arkansas will travel to in November to complete the season series between the two clubs. After the first two weekends of the season, the Razorbacks are 3-1 (1-1 in MACHA play). Per MACHA rules, when opponents play more than two games per season, the Friday contest will count toward division standings. The Hogs look to continue their early success this season as they gear up for another home-stand against another MACHA division opponent, the University of Missouri, as senior forward Griffin Sugasawara looks to notch his 100th career ACHA goal.
You can catch the Hogs live this Friday, 10/7 at 7:30 pm, and Saturday, 10/8 at 3:15 pm at the
Jones Center in Springdale, or live on YouTube.