The battle for placement in the top tier of playoff seedings in the Mississippi Valley Club Hockey Association intensifies this week.
Freeburg-Waterloo (15-1) is tied for first place entering a key showdown with co-leader Collinsville (15-1) on Thursday. The puck drops at 9 p.m. at the McKendree Metro Rec Plex in O’Fallon.
Belleville (14-2-1), Columbia (11-5) and Granite City (10-5-1) round out the top five.
The Raging Bulldogs posted a 12-5 win over Bethalto last Tuesday. Logan Ganz and Nick Mumford each recorded hat tricks in the victory, with Jacob Dinkelman and Paul Malacarne adding two goals each.
Columbia picked up a much-needed 8-1 victory over Highland on Thursday. Cam Nowak scored a goal and recorded four assists. Collin Schmidt added two goals and an assist for the Ice Eagles, who also topped Edwardsville, 7-0, Tuesday night and play Belleville at 7:30 p.m. Thursday in O’Fallon. Nowak and Elijah DeFosset notched two goals apiece against Edwardsville.
Next week, Columbia battles Triad on Monday before a rematch with the rival Raging Bulldogs set for 9 p.m. Tuesday at the McKendree Metro Rec Plex.
Freeburg-Waterloo topped Columbia, 5-2, in the previous rivalry match on Dec. 13.