The Razorbacks head out of town tomorrow (February 12) to drive to Irmo, South Carolina for their first-round South Regional match-up against the Christopher Newport University Captains. The Regional tournament marks the start of national post-season play. The Hogs must win on both Friday and Saturday in order to earn a spot at Nationals and keep their national post-season alive. There are 119 teams at the Division III level and the Regional selection process narrows that field to the top forty remaining teams.
Friday’s game against Christopher Newport marks the Hogs’ third appearance in the National post-season. In 2009-10, the Hogs defeated South Florida and Clemson to earn the program’s only trip to Nationals. Then, in 2010-11, Arkansas defeated Richmond in the first-round but lost to Florida Atlantic University in the waning minutes of a heart-breaker. Last season, the Razorbacks did not have the opportunity to compete in the national post-season given their suspension from post-season play by the ACHA.
This season, Arkansas enters the post-season on a ten-game winning streak having closed down the regular season with its fourth consecutive twenty win season and its fourth consecutive regular season SECHC-West conference title. The team puts that streak on the line against a talented Christopher Newport University team that finished its regular season with 17 wins. The Captains are led in scoring by Kyle Jahn (24 G, 28 A) and Brandon Finch (14 G, 20 A). Eric Dumas has backstopped the Captains throughout the season. Last season, the Captains lost to Alabama in the first round of the South Regional.
Arkansas has never played Christopher Newport. “We are excited for the opportunity to be back in the post-season,” said Head Coach Brian Gallini. “We know we need to play our best hockey against CNU,” he added. “They’re a talented hockey team with wins over several quality opponents.”
Face-off on Friday is at 2:30 pm EST at Plex Indoor Sports in Irmo, South Carolina. Follow the team’s social media pages for real-time updates.