The DI Razorback Hockey team (2-3-0) traveled to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, to take on the #7 ranked Oklahoma Sooners on Friday and Saturday, September 18 & 19. The games marked the beginning of WCHL league play for both teams and the Sooners’ first games of the season.
Oklahoma opened the scoring on Friday night late in the first period and took a 1-0 lead into the lockerroom. A back and forth second period saw each team score a pair of goals, followed by the Hogs obtaining the equalizer with under five minutes to play in the third period. The 3-3 tie would be short-lived. With under three minutes to play, Oklahoma scored the game-winning goal and earned the 4-3 victory in the process.
Saturday’s game, though, provided a different result. This time, Arkansas opened the scoring in the first period and took the one goal lead into the first intermission. Like Friday, the teams traded a pair of goals each in the second period. But unlike Friday’s third period, Saturday’s game saw no scoring by either team in the third period. Arkansas therefore came away with a 3-2 victory and, in doing so, notched it’s first-ever win over Oklahoma and a first-ever WCHL conference win. Equally notable, the Hogs earned their first win over a Division I opponent as a Division I team.
Voters noticed. Arkansas appeared as the #25 nationally ranked team in this week’s coaches’ poll. The Razorbacks travel this weekend to Bloomington, Illinois, to take on Illinois State for a pair of games on Friday and Saturday nights, September 25 & 26. Illinois State enters the weekend 1-1-2 having earned its first victory over Indiana Tech last Saturday following a loss the prior night. Like Arkansas, Illinois State is a first year Division I team. The puck drops on Friday at 9:30 pm and 7:00 pm on Saturday.
Back home, the Division III team (2-0-0) opens the defense of its conference championship as SECHC conference play begins this weekend against LSU. LSU has not played yet this season. Arkansas owns a perfect 6-0 record against the Tigers dating back to the teams’ first-ever meeting on January 9, 2008. The programs have not met since 2011. The puck drops at 7:30 pm at the Jones Center on both nights.