April 16, 2024

Arkansas Hockey Eyes Conference Dominance As the Second Semester Play Begins

Arkansas Hockey Eyes Conference Dominance As the Second Semester Play Begins

As we continue our coverage of the Arkansas Hockey Club, we now look to the second semester of hockey. The top 15 ranked Razorbacks, at 12th, look to continue another successful season and make a run at National Pool play in 2024. Head coach Keller Sims looks to keep his team focused as we start the second half of the season.

What has been happening with this program? No need to worry! We will catch you up with where this program is with a recap of their most recent series, some stats and players to watch, and where they rank in standings and what’s to come. Let’s start with their most recent matchup. 

Most Recent Series – Arkansas Sweeps Dallas Baptist

The Arkansas Hockey team emphatically concluded its fall semester campaign, overpowering MACHA South rival Dallas Baptist University with an 8-3 victory on Friday, followed by a dramatic 4-3 shootout win on Saturday in their most recent matchup. 

The Razorbacks’ senior captain, Kyle Crews, played a pivotal role, netting four goals in the first period of the opener to set the tone for the weekend. Despite the comfortable win on Friday, Arkansas had to dig deep in Saturday’s contest, showcasing resilience and determination to claw back and secure the win after an intense shootout, underlining their ability to triumph in high-pressure situations.

 Statistical Standouts and Key Players

Arkansas’s successful fall semester can be attributed to standout performances on the ice and between the pipes. Forward JD Duenwald leads the pack with 20 points in 18 games, followed closely by Trevor Borlace and Connor Chapman, who have been instrumental in the team’s offensive prowess. 

In addition to his leadership, Kyle Crews has put up significant numbers, tying with Chapman at 17 points. Brenden Coon‘s scoring efficiency is noteworthy, with 15 points in just 11 games.

 In goal, Sam Haynes and Grady Reis have been formidable, boasting goals-against averages of 2.58 and 2.29, respectively, with save percentages north of .900, providing the backbone for Arkansas’s defensive unit. Their performances will be crucial as the Razorbacks enter a challenging series of fixtures in the second semester.

Season Standings and Outlook

Arkansas’s sweep over Dallas Baptist has solidified its position at number 12 in the national ACHA rankings, with, as mentioned above, a commendable 13-6-1 record. The team remains second in challenging ACHA South, trailing #7 Mizzou and ahead of #11 Missouri State.

 The upcoming second semester boasts a crucial series as Arkansas faces Mizzou on January 19-20 in a home stint that could reshape the conference standings. A victory against Mizzou would be a statement win and secure Arkansas’s spot in the conference tournament. The Razorbacks are currently in control of their destiny. They are gearing up for a pivotal part of their season that includes challenging matchups and the prospect of solidifying their tournament ambitions.

In closing, the Arkansas Razorbacks are well-positioned as they head into the second half of the season. Their recent sweep over Dallas Baptist is a testament to their capacity to come out on top in challenging games. With a series of critical matchups on the horizon, including games against ranked opponents and conference rivals, Arkansas will look to their statistical leaders and key players to maintain their momentum and clinch their spot in the MACHA Tournament, setting the stage for what promises to be an exhilarating conclusion to the 2023-24 season.

Further reading

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