Hockey teams skating toward playoffs - Republic-Times | News

Hockey teams skating toward playoffs

By on December 23, 2015 at 12:20 pm
The Freeburg-Waterloo Raging Bulldogs and Columbia Ice Eagles took to the ice last week, with Columbia winning the showdown.

With the regular season coming to a close, the Columbia Ice Eagles and Freeburg-Waterloo Raging Bulldogs are looking to finish strong heading into the playoffs, which begin in mid-January.

Freeburg-Waterloo is 1-2-1 in its last four games with just four games remaining in the regular season. The Raging Bulldogs are currently in fifth place with a record of 6-5-1 in the MVCHA 1A Varsity standings, one point back of fourth place O’Fallon.

The ‘Dogs tied Triad, 1-1, on Dec. 8. Matt Wolf scored the lone goal for Freeburg-Waterloo, assisted by Jacob Pitt.
“This was a hard-fought game with Peyton Hamilton standing on his head to keep us in it,” Freeburg-Waterloo coach Scott Roberts said.

The ‘Dogs defeated Alton, 2-1, on Dec. 10, with Adam Phelps scoring both goals. Hamilton was once again a force in net.

The ‘Dogs faced rival Columbia last Tuesday, looking to avenge an earlier loss. But when the ice settled, Columbia escaped with a well-deserved 3-1 win.

“We just couldn’t find a way to stop Garrett Poole. He’s one of the best players in the league and we didn’t find a way to shut him down in the first period,” Roberts said of Columbia’s scoring ace after the game. “The game was the definition of a true rivalry, with many big hits being thrown and a bunch of pushing and shoving after every whistle. Columbia had our number this year, beating us both times we played.”

The ‘Dogs closed out the week with a tough 9-1 loss to an undefeated Edwardsville squad.

Scott Nanney picked up the lone goal for the ‘Dogs. Nanney leads the team in total points this season and Adam Phelps leads the team in goals scored.

“As a team, we have given up the second least goals in the league behind Edwardsville and that stems from the solid play in net by Peyton Hamilton and our defense, which is lead by Austin Patton and Jack Lugge,” Roberts said. “Colin Kruse and Logan Crowell have been solid on the blue line as well. So far, this season has been an up-and-down roller coaster ride. After looking back at some of those games, our record should be way better. We have four games left and need to run the table to get a solid position in playoffs.”

The Ice Eagles have been on a tear this season. Since losing their first game of the season to Triad, 10-6, they have gone 10-0-1 and are currently in second place in the division behind Edwardsville, who is 12-0.

The Ice Eagles played the Knights on Dec. 7, and got some revenge for its only loss, beating Triad 7-0 behind solid goaltending from Josh Stuart.

Up next for Columbia was Collinsville on Dec. 14. After giving up a goal just 44 seconds into the game, the Ice Eagles rolled to a 6-2 win.

In the rivalry match with Freeburg-Waterloo last week, Columbia jumped out to an early 2-0 lead after the first period on goals from Poole, which was a big key to getting the win according to head coach Kevin Feager.

“This was important, because Freeburg-Waterloo is capable of scoring in bunches, and we know their goalie is always a risk of shutting you out,” Feager said. “An early lead meant we weren’t having to play from behind, which is very hard to do against them.”

The Raging Bulldogs cut the lead to 2-1 in the second period but was unable to solve Stuart in the Eagles’ 3-1 win.

“We’ve already matched our win total from last year. We know the last half of the schedule will be the toughest,” Feager said. “I’m very pleased with how the boys have played thus far. We just need to keep it going into the playoffs.”

Greg Stanek

Greg is a photojournalist and nurse. He shoots and does stories for the R-T. He grew up in Troy and has lived in Waterloo for 10 years with his wife Teena, a life-long Waterloo resident. Greg is a die-hard Pittsburgh Steeler fan and loves the outdoors and fly fishing.