Hockey 10/8/21

Senior defenseman Kevin LaPlante skates during Friday night’s win over Iowa State. The Ice Hogs took both games from the Cyclones over the weekend, improving to 8-1 on the season.

The Razorback Hockey Club triumphed over Iowa State and raised its season record to 7-1 Friday night after a penalty-heavy game that ultimately resulted in a shutout victory for the Hogs.

The Ice Hogs fought hard during a game in which four different players found the net and senior goaltender Jozef Dusenka stopped over 30 shots.

Head coach Keller Sims was happy with how the team played offensively, except with the five penalties the Razorbacks drew, he said.

“We got into some penalty trouble in the third and second periods,” Sims said. “But we played hard and won a lot of battles out there. It was a good effort.”

The penalties ranged from goalie interference to a five-minute major for a rough hit to the head.

However, the Hogs’ penalty kill pressure left Iowa State struggling to regroup every time, and the Cyclones were never able to capitalize on the power play opportunities. 

“It was a great team win,” senior defenseman Cameron McAtee said. “All the guys were really grinding hard. We’ve been working hard in practice this week, and it all came together once game time came on.”

The Ice Hogs dominated possession for most of the first period, consistently keeping the puck in the offensive zone and creating a few opportunities.

Arkansas committed the first penalty of the game near the end of the first period, a goalie interference minor by junior forward Brad Estrada. However, the Hogs seized Iowa State’s power play opportunity, and junior forward Michael Ellis scored a shorthanded goal.

About five minutes into the second period, Arkansas was able to capitalize on a power play opportunity of its own, wasting no time with its one-man advantage. Freshman forward Ian Lotz tossed in a low shot, and sophomore forward Kyle Crews was able to put away the rebound, bringing the score to 2-0.

With 16 seconds left in the second period, the Hogs struck again. McAtee weaved past Iowa State’s defense unassisted and found the net, allowing Arkansas to end the second up 3-0.

Both teams fought with a greater sense of urgency in the third period. Arkansas collected a total of three penalties in the final period, including senior forward Griffin Sugasawara’s five-minute major for a rough hit on an Iowa State player.

About halfway through Iowa State’s power play, the Hogs drew yet another penalty. Even 5-on-3, the Cyclones were unable to penetrate Arkansas’ goal.

Both Sims and McAtee praised Dusenka for his goaltending.

“He played incredible,” Sims said. “He’s our senior goaltender and our leader in the net, and he played like it tonight.”

To complete the third period, freshman forward Jacob Heuerman also made it on the scoreboard after picking up an assist from McAtee. The duo brought the final score to 4-0.

Sims said he was happy with the team’s offensive performance and the penalty kill overall. Going forward, he wants the Hogs to focus on cleaning up their game, he said.

“We need to clean up our game and just tighten up the execution on the little things,” Sims said. “We’ve got a good work ethic, it’s just little mistakes. We’ll work on that all season.”

The Ice Hogs recorded another win against the Cyclones the next day with a final score of 7-2. Arkansas will face off with Missouri State at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 22 and 3:15 p.m. on Oct. 23.

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