Arkansas sweeps #2 Missouri State, Claims Battle of the Ozarks Trophy for second year in a row

This past weekend your Arkansas Hockey Club swept bitter rival Missouri State at home in front of record crowds at the Jones Center. The victories gave the Hogs a 3-1 record against the Bears this season. As winners of the season series, Arkansas claimed the Battle of the Ozarks trophy for the second consecutive season. The series was also the first meetings between the two teams with both ranked in the top 5. Missouri State entered the weekend ranked #2, while Arkansas entered at #4.

The puck drops as #4 Arkansas takes on #2 Missouri State

Friday saw the Hogs blank the Bears on the back of another stellar performance by junior netminder Sam Haynes, who recorded his ACHA leading 7th shutout of the season. Arkansas would survive a slow start early and heavy pressure from the visiting team. Senior Griffin Sugasawara opened the scoring 5:21 into the first period. On the goal, Sugasawara would claim the record for most goals scored in Arkansas Hockey history, passing Forrest Mudgett with 109 goals in his career. Seniors Zach Wilson and Trevor McLain would add to the lead and put the game away in the third following a back and forth second period.

Sugasawara celebrates with his teammates following his record breaking goal

Saturday would begin with the Hogs honoring nine seniors: Michael Ellis, Brad Estrada, Jake Sharrer, Cameron McAtee, Trevor McLain, Dylan Odelein, Jake Sharrer, Griffin Sugasawara, and Zach Wilson. The seniors would go on to have a heavy impact in the 5-3 Arkansas victory. Griffin Sugasawara and Trevor McLain would find the back of the net first, followed by a hat trick by Cameron McAtee, who continues to grow his ACHA leading point total. Zach Wilson would also record four assists on the night.

The fish stays in Fayetteville!

The weekend also saw the program break records off the ice. A program record crowd over 700 attended Friday nights military appreciation game. The next day, a record Saturday crowd north of 600 was in attendance to see off the Arkansas seniors and watch the team hoist their first trophy ahead of post season play.

The class of 2023 seniors pose with the Battle of the Ozarks Trophy

Arkansas is off this upcoming weekend. They will return to the ice in St. Louis where they will look to defend their MACHA Championship crown. They will face host team Maryville University in their first matchup at 11:00 AM Friday February 10th.

Photos courtesy of Dr. Rhett Hutchins at Baumology.