This past weekend, the Razorbacks traveled to Chesterfield, Missouri to compete in the MACHA Conference Tournament. A single elimination tournament, Arkansas began with a match up against a tough Dordt College team from the MACHA North.
Friday against Dordt, the Hogs jumped on the board early, six minutes into the first period thanks to Junior Jason Gifford. The Razorbacks would add to their lead when sophomore Thomas Verble would find the back of the net in the second period. However, Dordt would respond with one goal before the end of the second period. After a period dominated by the Razorbacks, Dordt found the equalizer late in the third on the powerplay. The game would ultimately head into double overtime where Senior Truman Hirschy was the ultimate hero with 2:45 to go in the second OT. This propelled the Hogs into the semifinal against Mizzou on Saturday.
Saturday evening, the energy for the Arkansas vs Mizzou rivalry at the Maryville University Hockey Center was electric. The Hogs got off to a sloppy start, as Mizzou jumped on the board just 30 seconds in. The Tigers would build their lead to two with one more in the first period. Heading into the second down 2-0, the Hogs made some changes during the
intermission, and they came out hot. Despite this, it wouldn’t be until the last two minutes of the second period when Ethan Rogers finds the back of the net, cutting Mizzou’s lead in half. David Markovich tied it up in the opening minutes of the third, however Mizzou responded with a go-ahead goal midway through the third. Mizzou would net one more empty net goal, and the Hogs would drop the semifinal game against Mizzou, 4-2.
It was the third year in a row the two teams have met in the MACHA semifinals, with Arkansas taking the first, and Missouri the last two. MACHA Silver will see a new champion next season as Arkansas (2022) and Missouri (2023, 2024) will both move to MACHA Gold and ACHA Division II starting in the 2024-25 season.
The Razorbacks season isn’t over yet, as the team will host to Drury (Division II) this upcoming Friday, and Nebraska next weekend for Senior night. The team also awaits the result of the national rankings to determine their seeding for the National Tournament, held March 7-12 in Maryland Heights, Missouri.