By Jim Davis on March 12, 2010
When his fired-up team trailed 1-0 at the end of the first period after out-shooting Fredonia State 18-4, Arkansas coach Rick Desjardins feared the worst. And it came to pass. Despite playing one of their best third periods of the season, the Razorbacks lost for the third time in the D3 National Tournament.
After Arkansas closed to within 3-2 on Justin McDowell’s goal with about eight minutes left in regulation play, Fredonia scored on a centering pass from the corner that ricocheted off a leg and into the Arkansas net, giving the Blue Devils a 4-2 win and sending the Razorbacks home winless in their first trip to nationals.
“When we made it 3-2, I thought we would catch them. We had a five-minute [power play] and couldn’t score,” said Desjardins. “Unfortunately, we didn’t represent the SEC very well this weekend.
“We didn’t have our hands around the net today. We couldn’t put pucks in the net. We had a lot of opportunities, but it didn’t show up on the scoreboard.”
Desjardins said he was concerned about the Razorbacks’ play leading into nationals. “We didn’t really play well the last three weeks. We played just well enough in the [South Regional Tournament] and the same in the [SECHC Playoffs.]”
The coach said he reminded his disheartened players that there was only one senior on the team. “We’ll be back,” he told them. “Let’s take what we learned from this and go forward.”
Arkansas finished the season with a 27-7-0 record that included a 22-game winning streak.
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