Ice Hogs win a pair of exhibition contests

The Razorback Hockey team swept a pair of exhibition games from the Tulsa Oilers over the past weekend.  On Friday night, a great crowd packed the Jones Center in Springdale to witness this year’s product, and was not disappointed. The Razorbacks took command from the opening faceoff on a goal by senior left winger Johnny Stromp 27 seconds into the game. Sophomore Ryan Machos followed up on a pretty passing play from Stromp and freshman James Haddock and the Hogs were up 2-0 with barely 4 minutes gone in the first. Martin Sundstedt scored an unassisted goal 33 seconds later and the Hogs were off and running. Justin McDowell tallied a nice goal with an assist from defenseman Chris Green to close out the first period scoring. The Hogs peppered the Tulsa goalie with 25 shots in the first period.

Tulsa toughened up defensively in the second period, but could not sustain offense as the Razorbacks transition game exploited Tulsa giveaways. Center Ryan Machos scored two goals less than two minutes apart to put the game out of reach 6-0.

The third period saw the Hogs tally goals by Stromp, Jacob Brown, Marcel Toure and Forrest Mudgett to close out the game 10-0. The Hogs went 2 for 5 on the power play with Ryan Machos netting the hat trick and two assists. Johnny Stromp played a strong game with two goals and three assists. Martin Sundstedt had a goal and two assists, Jacob Brown had a goal and an assist. Chris Green contributed three assists. The Hogs poured 67 shots on the Tulsa net minder. Kevin Scheer was rarely tested and picked up the shut out.

Another great crowd attended the rematch on Saturday. Hogs Head Coach Brian Gallini mixed lines to find more chemistry. Again, the first period started off quickly for the Hogs with sophomore Travis Robbins cashing in less than 5 minutes into the game. However, Tulsa came back after Taylor Jones was whistled for tripping and scored a power play goal for their first goal of the series. Physical play picked up as Tulsa was no doubt humbled by the previous night’s shellacking. The first period ended 1-1.

The Hogs found the going rough in the second period as Tulsa picked up the physical play and began bottling up the Hogs along the boards. Jake Duranczyk broke the tie with some heavy duty work by Justin McDowell and the Hogs were up 2-1. Tulsa came right back and tied the game at 2. But, Duranczyk connected on a nice display of hands from Sundstedt and momentum swung back to the Hogs 3-2. Tulsa continued to play hard and tied the game at 3, then took their first lead of the game 4-3 on nice display of hustle while shorthanded. Tulsa continued to pressure and hit the goalpost. Play seesawed back and forth until the Hogs struck with Logan Drake taking a feed from Joseph Dancy and knotted the game at 4. Martin Sundstedt deflected a shot from Stromp and Robbins with 24 seconds left in the second period to retake the lead.

But the Hogs had a game on their hands when with less than 5 minutes gone in the third period Tulsa’s Watson motored untouched into the slot and whistled a shot over the glove hand of Hogs goalie Spencer Mulgrew. Play remained physical with scrums and whistles slowing the Razorbacks attack. A hit from behind penalty against Tulsa opened the door for the Hogs as Justin McDowell cashed in on the power play from Green and Robinson. Taylor Jones restored a two goal lead with assists from McDowell and Green. Tulsa blew apart at the seams after Referee Chip Excell ejected two Oilers for misconduct penalties at the 16:55 mark. Jansen Polk closed out the scoring with an assist from Brandon Van Rooyen.

Jake Duranczyk led the way for the Hogs with two goals, Justin McDowell contributed a goal and two assists, Martin Sundstedt netted a goal and an assist, and Chris Green logged three more assists while playing shut down defense. The Hogs totaled 70 shots at two Tulsa goalies.

The Ice Hogs open non-conference play with a pair of road games at Division I Oklahoma on Friday the 21st & 22nd. The puck drops at 7:30pm on Friday and 4pm on Saturday.