Ben Weiner was skating into the right corner of the Arkansas zone when he laid a hit on an Arkansas defender. The ref threw his hand up to call a boarding penalty, and blew the whistle when a Marquette player touched the puck. The Arkansas player held onto Weiner’s leg, and Weiner threw a punch after the whistle. Adding to his two-minute boarding penalty, he also got a five-minute major for fighting, a ten-minute misconduct and a game misconduct.
During their seven minutes with a man advantage, Arkansas scored two power play goals to give them a 3-1 lead in the second game of the series. The power play goals were the difference, as Arkansas defeated Marquette 6-1 to complete the sweep.
“That was pretty devastating for us,” captain Ryan Zanon said. “To not be generating offense, to be worrying about our d-zone for a good five, seven minutes is a tough thing. It’s a momentum changer and that’s exactly what happened in this game.”
The first game of the series was played Sunday night, two days later than the normal start of a weekend series for the Marquette hockey team because of fall break. Marquette got on the board first when Tyler Schwichtenberg buried a shot from the back door on a pass from Sam Nader and Ryan Zanon. Arkansas, however, would tie it back up on a goal straight off the faceoff, and the teams were tied heading into the second period.
Arkansas put the game out of reach early in the second with two quick goals. Brandon Van Rooyen ripped a shot from the point that clipped goaltender Alejandro Anderson’s pads and went through the five hole to the back of the net 48 seconds into the second period. Just 34 seconds after Van Rooyen’s goal, Chris Green took a slap shot from the point, which bounced off of Matt Poli’s stick and into the net for an own goal. Arkansas would net another goal late in the second to give Arkansas a 4-1 lead. The Razorbacks held on throughout the third and got the win with a 4-1 victory.
“Arkansas came out strong,” coach Joe Cocking said. “They kept attacking us and I don’t think we were ready for that kind of press. They kept on us and really pressed hard. They’re a good team and we just didn’t respond the way we should have.”
The second game Monday night was a lot tighter in the first period. Playing physical hockey, both teams had two penalties within the first 10 minutes of the game, but saw no special teams goals. That changed when Matthew Vuoncino was whistled for holding. Arkansas worked the puck behind the net and dished it to the slot, where an Arkansas player one-timed it into the net for a power play goal and a 1-0 lead.
Dominic Zanfardino tried his best to get Marquette back into the game. During the seven-minute power play for Arkansas, he caught a behind-the-back pass from Corey Quinn. Zanfardino went racing in on a breakaway and beat the Arkansas goaltender clean on the glove side. His goal got Marquette within one, but a quick response from Arkansas put the deficit back to two. Three goals in the third period put the game out of reach for the Golden Eagles as they fell to the Razorbacks 6-1.
The Golden Eagles have a short week as they welcome Iowa to the Ponds of Brookfield. The Friday night game is at 7:30 p.m., while the Saturday game is at 1:00 p.m.
“(We have a) short week ahead,” Zanon said. “Come out at practice and work hard, work on some aspects that we didn’t do well on this week and work hard every shift and just get back to working hard and get back to having fun, having some confidence and working as a unit and as a team.”