FAYETTEVILLE, Ark- The South Eastern Collegiate Hockey Conference held their annual showcase this weekend in Pelham, Alabama and the Ice Hogs of Arkansas came away from it with 3 wins and no loses.
On Friday night the Razorbacks played their first game of the weekend against the east’s top seed Florida where they would come away with a 6-1 win.
4 minutes in to the game Johnny Stromp scored to give the Hogs an early lead, and one minute later Billy Dolan added to it. With 8:20 left to play in the first period, Justin McDowell scored his first goal of the game and got his second 4 minutes later giving Arkansas a comfortable 4-0 lead at the end of the first.
5:03 in to the second period the Gators got on the board with a goal from Michael Jugon, but Ryan Holloway of the Razorbacks would have an answer for that though 2 minutes later leaving the score at 5-1 heading in to the third period.
Brendan Desjardins would stay sharp between the pipes for the rest of the game and Martin Sundstedt would add one more goal to the Ice Hog total finalizing the score at 6-1.
Saturday afternoon Arkansas faced Tennessee where they ran wild on the Volunteers, beating them by a score of 15-1.
Justin McDowell opened the scoring with his first goal of the game 2:44 in followed by Trent Ritchie’s first goal of the game just a couple minutes later. Halfway through the first period Johnny Stromp added to the Hog goal total with 7:24 left in the period Marcel Toure scored leaving the first period at a 4-0 lead for the Hogs.
Marcel Toure picked up where he left off in the second period scoring his second goal of the game 1:12 in to the second period and just 30 seconds later Justin McDowell grabbed his second goal of the game. Kasey Womble got himself on the board 5:05 in to the second and so did Martin Sundstedt with 6:51 left to play in the period. Ross Miller netted on before the period was over and so did Justin Gaddy with 42 seconds left in the second giving the Ice Hogs a 10-0 lead heading in to the third.
4:34 in to the third period Trent Ritchie scored his second goal of the game followed by a goal from Easton Oliver and one from Michael Kress, but the Vols wouldn’t be shut out in this game as they snuck one past Kevin Sheer. The hat trick would be completed by Trent Ritchie with 4:45 left in the game and Bryce Derry finished out the scoring for the Razorbacks, leaving the final at 15-1 in favor of Arkansas.
Sunday afternoon would see the Razorbacks biggest game of the season as the faced the #2 ranked Central Florida Knights.
The Ice Hogs would strike first with 7:35 left to play in the first period with goal from Martin Sundstedt, but Josh Drazin of the Knights answered with 2:45 left in the first leaving the score all tied up at 1 at the end of the first period.
Halfway through the second period Trent Ritchie gave the Razorbacks another lead, but once again Central Florida would tie it back up, this time from Jeremy Roberts. Easton Oliver grabbed the lead right back for the Razorbacks one minute later and Justin Gaddy added one more to the Arkansas lead before the period was over giving the Hogs a 4-2 lead heading in to the third.
4:30 in to the third period Justin McDowell scored to extend the Razorback lead. Nick Parise scored for the Knights in an effort to get back in the game, but Brendan Desjardins kept it from happening, securing the Razorbacks biggest win of the season with a 5-3 victory of Central Florida.
Next weekend the Alabama Frozen Tide will make a trip to Springdale, Arkansas to face the Razorbacks in a weekend that will determine the conference’s top seed. The Tide is currently sitting atop the SECHC with 16 points while the Razorbacks are at a close second with 14 points, and riding on a 9 game win streak.
Be sure to come out and help pack the Jones Center for Families in Springdale, Arkansas Friday February 3rd and Saturday February 4th, tickets are $6 for adults, $2 for students and free for children under the age of 10.