by JIM DAVIS on JANUARY 11, 2013
The biggest question hovering over the Arkansas Razorbacks’ training camp in September was:
Will anyone be able to fill the skates of Brendan Desjardins and give the Hogs a shot at a second trip to the ACHA DIII National Tournament this season?
Desjardins, the Hogs’ No. 1 netminder for three seasons, was one of the best goalies in Division III. The 2011-12 ACHA All-South Region and All-SECHC choice gave Arkansas a chance to win every game he started last season.
But Desjardins graduated in May. Conventional wisdom said there was no way an Arkansas team with Desjardins guarding its goal could be as competitive this season.
Yet, as the Razorbacks are about to begin the second half of their season at Southern Illinois, they’ve won 17 of 26 games, are ranked sixth in the South Region and lead the SECHC West Division with a 7-1-0-0 record. Six of their losses were to DI and DII teams.
To the delight of head coach Brian Gallini and Razorbacks fans, the goalie question has turned out to be a non-issue. Arkansas’ trio of young netminders — sophomores Spencer Mulgrew and Kevin Scheer and freshman Tommy Courtney (left to right in photo) — has been more than up to the task.
Gallini’s strategy for identifying Desjardins’ successor, which called for letting one of the three emerge as No. 1 from the first dozen games on the Hogs’ tough schedule, has played out perfectly.
Scheer earned the nod for his performances in 4-1 and 4-2 road losses to DII Missouri State in October. Read the rest of the story here.