On Friday and Saturday, February 1 & 2, the Razorbacks (21-8-1, #5 South) take on the McKendree University Bearcats (12-8-0) in a pair of games to close out the regular season. McKendree and Arkansas have never met, although they do have one opponent–Southern Illinois–in common. Arkansas played Southern Illinois four times this season and defeated the Cougars in every contest. McKendree also swept Southern Illinois back in October of 2012 by 7-0 and 4-1 scores.
More telling of McKendree’s talent is their recent impressive split with Division II St. Louis (St. Louis is currently ranked #6 in the Central region at the Division II level) on January 18 & 19. The Bearcats are led in scoring by Nic Rolla (33 G, 9 A) and Dave Coleman (8 G, 26 A). Rolla, a member of the ACHA DIII Select team that traveled to Europe over the holidays, also led McKendree in scoring last season. He continues to perform particularly well for the Bearcats; he potted four goals en route to McKendree’s 8-5 victory over St. Louis on January 19. Senior Nathan Campo has been in goal every game this season for McKendree. Campo, who made 47 saves in the win over St. Louis, has a goals-against average of 3.06 with one shutout.
For their part, Arkansas enters the series on an eight game winning streak. That streak has included wins over Memphis, Southern Illinois, Wisconsin-Oshkosh, Alabama and Auburn. During the streak, the Hogs have outscored their opponents by a cumulative total of 97-8. Most recently, the Razorbacks played two games before a packed Jones Center crowd against the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh on January 25 and 26. Friday’s 6-2 victory over the Titans secured for the Razorbacks their fourth consecutive twenty win season. Then, on Saturday, Arkansas cruised to a 12-1 victory over the visiting Titans. With Alabama’s victory over Ole Miss that same weekend, Arkansas earned its fourth consecutive SECHC-West regular season title.
Game times for both games this Friday and Saturday are 7:30 pm. Tickets are available for sale at the rink on the day of the game. General seating tickets are $8, standing room only is $5, and students with an ID are admitted for $3. On Friday night, the Ice Hogs welcome the School of Law student body for the third annual “Law School Night at the Rink.” More detailed ticket information is available here.
The Razorbacks return to the Jones Center for the final time on March 1 & 2 when they take on the University of Texas-San Antonio.