Jeffrey Sands and Zach Hale commit to Arkansas

The Razorback Hockey team is pleased to announce our next two 2017-18 commits, D-Jeffrey Colton Sands and F-Zach Hale.

Sands, from Birmingham, MI, comes to Arkansas after two seasons playing junior hockey.  Most recently, the right-shooting defenseman played 40 games with the La Crosse Freeze in the NA3HL.  He recorded 9 total points for the Freeze (1 goal and 8 assists).  The prior season, in 2015-16, Sands played for the Motor City Hawks in the USPHL.  There, he contributed 5 points (3 goals and 2 assists) across 47 games.

Sands explains that his father, also a hockey player, introduced him to the sport at just three years old.  Sand then began playing competitively five years later.  Regarding his decision to attend the University of Arkansas, Sands (who plans to study Political Science) said,  “I am excited to play hockey at the University of Arkansas for many reasons, particularly the team’s dedication to academics.  I am also excited about the community support in a state where hockey is not well known.  Additionally, I look forward to learning from the coaching staff and living in beautiful Fayetteville.”

“Jeffrey protects the puck well in tight space and consistently makes the right outlet read in the defensive zone,” said Collin Hesse, Head Coach of the Division III team.  “Moreover, he is serious about both his academic and athletic career.  In that sense, he fits the precise mold of a Razorback Hockey player.”

Hale joins the Razorbacks after a season with the San Diego Sabers in the WSHL.  There, the right-shooting forward helped the Sabers reach the playoffs.  In high school, Hale played for Keller High in the USHS and contributed 24 total points (17 goals and 7 assists) in 33 games over two seasons.

As a lifelong resident of Ft. Worth, TX, Hale is a proud Dallas Stars fan and credits the team for his love of hockey.  He started skating at only three years old and moved into competitive hockey at five.  Said Hale, “Even at a young age, I knew I wanted to attend the University of Arkansas.  When I found out they had a hockey team, I immediately pursued the opportunity to play for the Razorbacks.”

“We’re excited about Zach’s speed and tenacity on the forecheck,” said Collin Hesse, Head Coach of the Division III team.  “We’ll look for Zach to be an energy guy for us and we look forward to his commitment level permeating throughout the program.”

Sands and Hale bring the 2017-18 recruiting class to twenty players from nine different states and three countries.  They join the following players:

F-Matt Hehr (College Station Spirit, NA3HL)
F-Jiri Trubacik (Cheyenne Stampede, WSHL)
F-Konnor Madsen (Long Beach Bombers, WSHL)
F-Andrew Pellegrino (Fresno Monsters, WSHL)
F-Sine Chadi (Long Beach Bombers, WSHL)
F-Sam Weidenbaum (Decatur Blaze, USPHL)
F-Triston Wilson (Euless Stars, NA3HL)
F/D-Paiute Morrison (Southern Oregon Spartans, WSHL)
D- Cal Owens (Long Beach Bombers, WSHL)
D-Corey Rees (Long Beach Sharks, NA3HL)
D-Kyle Dudley (Euless Jr. Stars, NA3HL)
D-Shaun Foster (SUNY-Canton, NCAA)
D-Kenatae Medure (Atlanta Capitals, NA3HL)
G-Dalton Baker (College Station Spirit, NA3HL)
G-Max Barr (Long Beach Bombers, WSHL)
G-Brock Thompson (Connecticut Nighthawks, EHL)
G-Rio Virgoe (Jersey Shore Wildcats, NA3HL)

The University of Arkansas is the only SEC school to field two hockey teams.  The Division I team has, since 2015, competed in the Western Collegiate Hockey Conference (learn more here).   The Division III team will in 2017-18 begin its eleventh season competing in the Southeastern Collegiate Hockey Conference (learn more here).  All home games are played at The Jones Center for Families in Springdale.