DI set to host #11 Oklahoma; DIII visits Kansas

A look at the crowd when OU last came to visit in 2014
A look at the crowd when OU last came to visit in 2014

Big crowds are expected this Friday and Saturday, January 29 & 30, when the #21 DI Razorbacks (14-13-2) welcome conference opponent #11 University of Oklahoma (15-8-4) to the Jones Center.  Puck drop on Friday night is at 8:30 pm and Saturday’s contest begins at 4:00 pm.  Entering the weekend, the conference standings place Oklahoma third with Arkansas sitting at fifth.

The Sooners arrive in Arkansas after having dropped a pair of games to #8 Colorado at home (6-0 and 5-4 (SO)).  The last time these two teams hooked up was much earlier in the season–on September 18 & 19–when the Hogs and Sooners split the series.  After dropping game one 4-3, the Razorbacks rebounded to earn a 3-2 victory in game two.  The Sooners own a 10-1 series lead in the four years the two programs have played.

Arkansas meanwhile enters the weekend after dropping a pair of games to Lindenwood-Belleville by 5-0 and 6-3 scores.  After being shutout in game 1, the Hogs kept the contest close in game 2 until the eight-minute mark of the third period.  With the score 3-2 in Lindenwood-Belleville’s favor, the Lynx suddenly notched three unanswered goals in a two-minute span.  Despite the disappointing result, the Hogs remain ranked #21 in this week’s national poll and are thus still very much in the post-season hunt.

D1 rankings

Meanwhile, the DIII Razorbacks (24-2-1, #7 Pacific) head back on the road for a two-game set against Kansas (DII).  The DIII Razorbacks split a pair of games against Pacific Region rival Missouri State, dropping game one 8-2 but rebounding to earn a victory in game two by a 6-2 score.

The Hogs and Jayhawks last met at the end of the first semester when Arkansas earned a sweep by 6-3 and 10-5 scores on December 4 & 5.  This meeting, however, will take place in Independence, Missouri, at 6:00 pm on January 29 with the series finishing at 1:00 pm on January 30.

The KU games mark the final regular season match-ups for the DIII Razorbacks before the SECHC tournament.  The SECHC conference tournament will take place February 5-7 and Arkansas will again enter the tournament as the #1 seed.