In Columbus, the Ice Hogs tied two games and won their final heat, but failed to progress out of pool play. In their first match, they faced Florida Gulf Coast University in what turned out to be a tie game (1-1). Their second game against Fairfield ended in a similar manner but was a higher scoring game (6-6). To round out pool play, the DIII Hogs met Hope College and notched a 5-2 victory.
They left the tournament with a 1-0-2 record but due to ACHA rules did not advance to the next round. Hope College moved on and proceeded to win the Championship. Senior Captain Andrew DeNome said, “The season was a huge success, we achieved all of our goals as a team, we really came together as a unit despite the adversity we faced. Although we came up short in the National Tournament, our younger guys and younger leaders will be prepared for next year.”
All in all, the DIII Razorbacks had an incredibly successful season with a 25-6-2 overall record. Additionally, the Team reclaimed both the SECHC Championship and Pacific Region Championship titles. DIII’s success would not have been possible without the overwhelming support from fans, friends, and families, University Recreation, Student Affairs, and the Coaching Staff.
Said Senior Captain Matt Tallo, “This season has been the best season of hockey I have ever been a part of. From top to bottom, everyone put in their best effort and we were very successful. We cannot thank everyone enough for their support throughout the season. I would also like to thank my teammate, coaches, and family for these memories that will last a lifetime.”
On behalf of the Coaching Staff, Coach Keller Sims said, “We are very proud of everything these guys accomplished this season. We started with the goal of bringing the SEC trophy back to Fayetteville, and we were able to accomplish that goal and so much more. This group came together early and responded to adversity all season, especially at Nationals by going undefeated and beating the eventual National Champions. The character of the guys in that locker room is second to none. You couldn’t ask for a better group to represent our program and show everyone what Arkansas Hockey is all about.”