On Friday, February, 19, at 9 am CST, the DIII Razorbacks (#10 Pacific, 28-3-1 overall) will play for their season against Marquette University (#3 Pacific, 23-4-2 overall) in the first round of the Pacific Regional Tournament (full bracket immediately below).
All four regional site tournaments will begin tomorrow as teams from across the country will compete for the remaining spots at the National Tournament. Of the fifteen ranked teams in each region, only the top ten are eligible for national post-season play. The top two teams from the final ranking period receive an automatic bye to the National Tournament. That leaves open spots at the National Tournament for two teams from each region.
To fill those spots, teams ranked third through tenth in the final ranking period compete in a Regional Tournament held somewhere in their specific region. This year’s single elimination Pacific Regional Tournament takes place in Lincoln, Nebraska. At the conclusion of the four regional tournaments, sixteen teams are left standing. The sixteen team field is then ranked for purposes of the National Tournament and each of the sixteen teams is placed in one of four pools.
Prior to an idle weekend last weekend, the Hogs are coming off of a season-saving 3-2 win over Vanderbilt to claim third place in the SECHC conference tournament. As the final rankings reflect, Arkansas ended up needing that win to clinch a spot at this weekend’s Regional.
Safely in the Regional Tournament with the #3 seed, Marquette played in the Mid-America Collegiate Hockey Association Silver Division playoffs last weekend. Marquette won the tournament with wins over Loyola University, Aurora University, and Iowa State.
Arkansas has never lost to Marquette in their few meetings. The teams last met in Springdale on October 17 & 18 of 2014 when the Hogs defeated Marquette 7-0 and 7-3. The only other games likewise saw Arkansas sweep the series when, in 2013, the Hogs traveled to Wisconsin and earned 4-1 and 6-1 victories on October 20 & 21.
Puck drop is scheduled for 9 am on Friday.