Razorback Hockey in the national tournament

The Division 3 team is playing in pool play in Columbus, Ohio. Tied Florida Gulf Coast 2-2 yesterday, currently playing Fairfield University, tied at 2 in the second period. The Icehogs again won the SEC Hockey Conference title and last week won the ACHA Pacific Regional in Lincoln, NE, to advance to nationals.

Last pool game is tomorrow. The winner of our four-team pool plays in the semifinal Friday, with the championship game Saturday night.

Both teams have scored in the second period so it’s 3-3.

You can actually watch live at this link:

[youtube]WC04PEBGlBk[/youtube]

Thanks for posting this. I was just thinking about our Hockey team yesterday and wondering how they were doing. I take it we are still an ice age away from competing with the North Dakotas, Minnesotas and Michigans for a spot in the Frozen Four. Is the law professor still coaching the team?

Not sure who’s coaching the team. We added a Division I team this year which got clobbered, but the D3 team is obviously doing well. Second period turned into a shootout. It’s 5-5 at the end of 2. We took a two-goal lead then lost it; Fairfield got a buzzer-beater goal with :01 left in the second to tie it.

When did we get a hockey team?

It’s club hockey, not varsity. We’ve had a team for several years (and now we have two, at the D1 and D3 levels in the club-hockey competition). They play at the Jones Center in Springdale.

Still tied 5-5 with Fairfield late in the third period. We are apparently the #4 seed in our pool; Fairfield is #2.

Oops. Fairfield just scored to take a 6-5 lead, 5 minutes left.

Icehogs tie it up with one minute left!

No goals in OT, 6-6 tie. Not sure if the Icehogs have a chance to make the semifinals with a win tomorrow; I haven’t been able to find the other scores in that pool.

Fairfield lost to Hope last night, and Hope plays FGCU later. I think if Hope wins tonight they will automatically advance to the semifinals no matter what happens tomorrow between Hope and the Icehogs.

I have learned to really enjoy and appreciate hockey. It is amazing to watch live. Does not translate well to TV. Amazing AR has team. Most learn to play on frozen pounds. Not much of that in AR. Must be some guys fm SK etc.

Here’s the roster for the team currently in the tournament. I see two Canadians, one European, a few from up north, one from your neck of the woods, Jim (Colorado Springs), and a whole bunch of Texans. Which is what I kinda guessed. With the Stars pretty well established in Dallas, there has been time for a youth hockey network to be established. There are two Arkansas kids on the roster who played on the NWA Ice Hogs, which is a youth hockey group that also plays at the Jones Center in Springdale.

http://arhockey.westernchl.com/?page_id=2361

By the way, Icehogs are leading Hope College 5-1 in the third period today. Hope qualified for the semifinals by winning last night and may be resting some of their best players for the semis, but still going out with a win would be nice. Go to a national tournament, don’t lose any of your three games and it still isn’t enough to advance. That buzzerbeater goal Fairfield got last night (one second left in the period) looks like its going to be what kept us out of the semis. Of course if we’d beaten Fairfield, Hope might not be resting its best guys, if that’s actually what they’re doing. Hope had the late game last night and it’s possible they’re just tired from that.

Icehogs won 5-2. Hope goes on to the semifinal, UA guys go back to the hill unbeaten at the national tournament.

When talk of the Arkansas ice hockey team comes up among casual fans, someone inevitably and mistakenly thinks it’s an NCAA varsity program, or that Arkansas is somehow on the verge of starting a varsity hockey team.

Here’s some practical perspective on all of that.

First obstacle: Title IX says the number of athletic scholarship opportunities must be the same for men and women. So, adding hockey means adding two teams (men and women), doubling the cost. Conceivably, the UA could add a men’s hockey and a women’s team in a different sport as long as the scholarship opportunities are the same. But that doesn’t solve the problem of facilities …

Second obstacle: As it stands now, the only place to play or practice ice hockey in NWA is the Jones Center in Springdale, which could not accommodate one or two varsity teams AND fulfill its community mission. That includes nurturing youth hockey. Speaking of …

Third obstacle: There are few youth and developmental hockey programs in the region (let alone the state) which would have to be the recruiting foundation for a local team. I’ve known a couple of local kids who played competitive hockey, and they inevitably had to travel to Kansas City or farther to find teams to play against and on. You might recruit a few northern and Canadian ex-pats to a team at Arkansas, but the core of the team in any varsity sport has to be local kids. They just aren’t out there in sufficient numbers and will never be unless more rinks are build and more kids play.

I think we’d be more likely to see Lacrosse at UA before we’d see ice hockey. Frankly, I don’t see either happening, ever.

That said, I’m glad the club teams (at least one of them) did well in the tournament. I always root for Razorbacks, no matter the sport.

The University of Alabama at Huntsville has varsity D-1 scholarship hockey. Seriously. Obviously they aren’t getting their players from northern Alabama. They go where you would think: Canada and northern states. Probably not too hard a sale: Spend your winters in Alabama instead of shoveling snow. So it could be done here if they wanted to do that. Obviously a varsity team would require a rink for practice and games. A building with a rink, locker room and 1000 seats or so would not be a huge expenditure. In fact Tyson track center is a pretty good model, and a rink is smaller than a 200 meter track.

I don’t expect us to add hockey, of either gender. If we ever add a men’s sport, I would expect soccer. Colby Hale has already blazed a recruiting trail: A lot of Dallas, some Tulsa and KC. I would think the men’s team would do the same. But I’m not holding my breath for that either. As you mentioned, Title IX is a consideration. A new men’s sport would have to be joined by at least one women’s sport, maybe two.

I’ve said if I ever won the Powerball jackpot I’d call the AD and say “How much would it cost to add men’s soccer? Here it is. Do it. Need to add a women’s sport too for Title IX? How much? Here it is.”

If I won the Powerball jackpot (I don’t play, so that’s not happening) I would donate the money to fund an Equitation team. aTm, UGA, Aubie and several others have teams. It is a women’s sport. I understand that Arkansas considered Equitation when it was adding a new sport, and chose gymnastics. They already have facilities in the Pauline Whitaker Pavilion.

Yep, equestrian is a women’s scholarship sport, although the NCAA does not conduct an equestrian championship. It allows 15 scholarships, which would more than cover 9.9 scholarships for men’s soccer. The championship is conducted by the National Collegiate Equestrian Association. So there are two college sports that the NCAA doesn’t do championships: FBS football and equestrian.

Four SEC schools already have a horsey team: Auburn, TAM, Jawja and SoCar.

A list of NCAA championship sports we don’t have:

Women – Beach volleyball, rowing, fencing, field hockey, ice hockey, lacrosse, rifle, skiing, water polo.

Men – Fencing, gymnastics, hockey, lacrosse, rifle, skiing, soccer, swimming, volleyball, water polo, wrestling.

I wouldn’t mind bringing men’s swimming back. We were pretty darn good in the late 70s and 80s under Sam Freas with a tiny 25-yard pool, so it’s not like it’s impossible to compete in that sport (their scholie limit is also 9.9).

The largest scholarship limit in women’s sports is actually rowing, with 20 scholies. Several schools in our area have rowing, including EOE-A, Mobilehoma, Tulsa and SMU. Bama and EOE-K also have rowing. Seems that would be a fairly cheap sport to add beyond the scholarships; a few boats, a boat house, and a coach. Maybe Lake Wedington could be the venue. If not, certainly Beaver Lake.

And yes, Marty, if I won Powerball and Hunter Yurachek said we’ll add men’s soccer if you also fund equestrian or rowing, I’d say, “Sure!”