Razorback Ice Hockey Club Wins Collegiate Title, Advances to National Championships

The University of Arkansas Ice Hockey Team celebrates its Southeastern Conference championship
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The University of Arkansas Ice Hockey Team celebrates its Southeastern Conference championship

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The University of Arkansas Razorback intramural ice hockey team has captured the Southeastern Collegiate intramural championship and will play in the American Collegiate Hockey Association Division three national championship tournament starting March 10 in Fort Meyers, Fla.

The Razorback hockey team entered the Southeastern Collegiate tournament as the top seed and, after receiving a bye in the first round, defeated the third-seeded University of Alabama Frozen Tide by a score of 5-1. With the Southeastern Conference title on the line, Arkansas faced the second-seeded Florida Gators, who were riding a 17-game win streak. Although the Hogs struck first, they found themselves trailing 2-1 after two periods of play. Led by Brad McMahon's three straight goals, the Hogs rattled off five unanswered goals. The 6-2 championship victory sealed the Razorbacks' first ever Southeastern Collegiate intramural title.

“The players deserve all the credit for finding it within themselves to come from behind and earn one of the biggest wins in our program's short history,” said the team’s associate head coach Brian Gallini. Gallini, who also serves as a professor of criminal law in the University of Arkansas School of Law, has been impressed by the rapid ascent of the team – the university has only had an ice hockey team since 2007. “I’m extremely proud of this team and all they’ve accomplished in a short time,” he said. “I’m honored to be a part of it and optimistic that we can continue to grow the hockey program.”

The Razorbacks take an impressive 27-5-0 record into the national championship tournament on March 10, where their first opponent will be the University of Colorado. The Hogs face Hope University on March 11 and Fredonia State the next day. The winner of the four-team pool will advance to the semifinals, and the semifinal winners will compete for the national championship.

The ice hockey team is one of 31 active club sports operated by the Intramural and Recreational Sports department in the College of Education and Health Professions. The club sports program is structured so that students learn leadership skills as well as teamwork, said Bill Mock, associate director of the Intramural and Recreational Sports department. Each club elects officers who run all aspects of the team. Teams can have volunteer coaches who provide guidance and instruction, he said.

This semester, 870 students are members of club sports, reported Chris Thompson, the graduate assistant for club sports. As excitement builds to the hockey team’s national championship run, Thompson has heard the team discussed on talk radio and seen posts about it on online sports talk forums.

“With this team, we are reaching into different, diverse audiences,” he said. “It could have a trickle-down effect on participation in other clubs and the entire program. We are not sure what the impact will be. We have several teams this year doing well in post-season play. The success is exciting for all of us at IMRS.”

Contacts

Heidi Wells, director of communications
College of Education and Health Professions
479-575-3138, heidisw@uark.edu

Andy Albertson, director of communications
Research and Economic Development
479-575-6111, aalbert@uark.edu

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