GAME #9 - #18 ALABAMA 1, ARKANSAS 2
SPRINGDALE, Ark. – The No. 18 Alabama hockey program came up short on Friday night, dropping the first game of the series at Arkansas, 2-1. Freshman Zach McDaniel scored the lone goal for UA with assists from junior Taylor Joseph and senior Jack Rooney.
The loss ends Alabama’s program-best streak of six consecutive Division-I wins and leaves the team in a tie for the seventh-longest win streak in school history. Rooney has now recorded 10 points while extending his point streak to five games and is the first player on the squad to reach double-digits this season. Joseph is also on a five-game point streak.
Arkansas struck first with a goal late in the first period from their leading scorer, Luc Gradisar. He was assisted by Cory Delisle and Jacob Brown. The trio would provide all of the Razorbacks scoring on the night.
The second period saw a flurry of penalties. Both teams took calls within the first seven minutes, but nothing came of the resulting power plays. With 10:16 on the clock, Delisle was called for tripping, sending Alabama to the man-advantage. Before the penalty expired, Alabama cut its power play short with a penalty of its own, leading to 30 seconds of 4-on-4 play.
The expiration of Delisle’s penalty gave the Razorbacks a power play, but it would last just four seconds before they returned a player to the box. When the teams returned to 5-on-5 play, McDaniel scored Alabama’s lone goal at the 16:02 mark. Despite a fourth Arkansas penalty later in the frame, Alabama failed to capitalize on any of its power-play chances.
Early in the third, Arkansas’ trio struck again. Delisle found the back of the net with assists from Gradisar and Brown. Alabama kept pressure on the Razorbacks’ net and earned two more power-play opportunities. In the final minute of play, with netminder Jesse Gordichuk pulled for the extra attacker, Alabama again returned to the power-play with a 6-on-4 advantage and hit the post twice, but the Razorbacks’ Brock Thompson kept the puck out of his net to earn the win.
Alabama and Arkansas return to the ice tomorrow in an early matchup at The Jones Center. The puck will drop at 12:30 p.m. CT.