Ice Eagles return strong nucleus for 2015-16 - Republic-Times | News

Ice Eagles return strong nucleus for 2015-16

By on December 9, 2015 at 11:12 am
Pictured is the Columbia Ice Eagles hockey team for the 2015-16 season. In front is goalie Josh Stuart; second row, from left: Adam Pozniak, Jarrett Allscheid, Garrett Poole, Chris Wagner and Ryan Hofstetter; back row: coach Cody Early, Jacob Matthews, Trey Walton, Tyler Henson, Cole Graves, Austin Queen, Jack Sigman, Jacob Baskett, Hudson Miller and head coach Kevin Feager.

Pictured is the Columbia Ice Eagles hockey team for the 2015-16 season. In front is goalie Josh Stuart; second row, from left: Adam Pozniak, Jarrett Allscheid, Garrett Poole, Chris Wagner and Ryan Hofstetter; back row: coach Cody Early, Jacob Matthews, Trey Walton, Tyler Henson, Cole Graves, Austin Queen, Jack Sigman, Jacob Baskett, Hudson Miller and head coach Kevin Feager.

The Columbia Ice Eagles hockey team had a successful season last year, finishing with a record of 10-6-3 and advancing to the second round of the playoffs.

The Ice Eagles and head coach Kevin Feager are looking to improve on that mark and go deeper into the playoffs this season.

Columbia returns a strong nucleus, having only lost one player, Jadie Mercille, to graduation. Mercille played steady defense for the Eagles last season.

Returning on defense for the Ice Eagles this season are Chris Wagner, Jacob Matthews and Trey Walton. All three players made last year’s all-star team.

“Their experience on defense is a big part of our team,” Feager said.

Blake Bulger and Garrett Poole were forces on offense last season along with Sean Hofstetter, who led Columbia in scoring last year as a freshman.

“Hofstetter has been out with an injury so far this season, and he is definitely missed while Bulger and Poole have picked up right where they left off, “ Feager said.

Poole leads the Eagles in scoring so far on the season with 20 goals to along with six assists. Bulger has chipped in eight goals to go with nine assists.

Columbia has added some new blood to the team this season in Cam Nowak and Sean Hofstetter’s younger brother, Ryan.

“They both bring a lot of experience to the lineup,” Feager said of his new skaters.

Josh Stuart returns between the pipes for Columbia. He is continuing his solid goaltending from last season, posting a 8-1-1 record so far this season.

One of coach Feager’s goals for his hockey team this year is to make it into the 2A division. This will be determined after the first 16 games of the season are played. The top six teams at that point will go into the MVCHA’s 2A division, while the bottom six teams will go into the 1A division.

“So far, we are staying in the top six, so we are very happy with that,” Feager said.

Feager said he is very pleased with his team so far this season, but he knows there is a long way to go.

“We’re finding most of the teams in the league are very competitive this season. Every game we’ve had has been a battle, but we’re finding ways to win,” Feager said.

The Ice Eagles are 8-1-1 to start the 2015-16 campaign, but tough games are looming on the horizon.

“It will not be easy for us,” he said.

The Ice Eagles’ next game will be Monday, against Collinsville at 8:40 p.m. in Granite City, then Tuesday, also at Granite City at 6:50 p.m., Columbia will square off with the rival Freeburg-Waterloo Raging Bulldogs in a rematch of last year’s first round playoff series.

Columbia won an earlier showdown against the Raging Bulldogs this season with a come-from-behind 5-3 victory.


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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.