“The Fish” is staying home! After a split on the weekend, and a split in the season series 2-2, Arkansas remained in control of the Battle of the Ozarks trophy by blanking #17 Missouri State in a shootout following their 8-4 victory on Saturday. This marks the third straight season the Hogs will end the season in possession of the trophy.
Friday saw the Hogs get off to another slow start, allowing Missouri State to jump out to a 5-0 lead. Arkansas showed their never quit attitude and came out hot with 3 unanswered goals to start the 3rd period. While pressing on the penalty kill, the Hogs would get caught up ice, allowing a break away goal which stopped the momentum and the come back. Ultimately the Hogs would fall 6-3 to the Ice Bears.
On Saturday, a much different Razorback team hit the ice. Arkansas would control nearly the entire 60 minutes of play in the contest with 3 goals in the first, 2 in the second, and 3 in the third. Arkansas would never surrender the lead, and eventually claimed the 8-4 victory on the backs of Senior Trevor Borlace’s 4 goals and a stellar performance in net by Senior Sam Haynes.
Per the series tie breaker, a 5 man shoot out was held to determine the winner of season long Battle of the Ozarks. In the shootout, Freshman JD Duenwald would score the only goal needed as Haynes stopped all 5 bears he faced.
It was all good news for the Hogs this weekend! Despite the loss on Friday, Arkansas will advance to the MACHA Tournament for the 3rd consecutive season on the backs of a better goals against average in division play than the Ice Bears. Arkansas has never missed qualification for the MACHA Tournament since joining the league in 2021-22. Arkansas would claim the Conference Title in 2022 with a win over Missouri State, and were eliminated in 2023 by eventual champion Missouri. Arkansas will enter the tournament as the 6th seed and will face third seeded Dordt University out of the MACHA North in the first round of the single elimination tournament. The Game is scheduled for 2:00PM on Friday February 9th at The Maryville University Hockey Center in St. Charles, MO.