Ice Eagles take upper hand in hockey rivalry - Republic-Times | News

Ice Eagles take upper hand in hockey rivalry

By on January 10, 2018 at 12:24 pm

Columbia’s Ryan Hofstetter skates with the puck during the Dec. 21 contest against Freeburg-Waterloo. (Corey Saathoff photo)

The Mississippi Valley Club Hockey Association wrapped up its regular season schedule last week and is now in the round robin portion to determine playoff seedings.

And while both local teams remain atop the standings entering round robin play, the two have traded places.

The Columbia Ice Eagles avenged a Dec. 21 defeat by taking down the Freeburg-Waterloo Raging Bulldogs to end regular season play Thursday night in Granite City.

Columbia won 2-0, with Adam Pozniak scoring both goals for the Eagles.

“Adam has filled in at all positions for us this year,” Columbia head coach Kevin Feager said.

Londyn Little posted a shutout in net, giving him a 10-1-1 record with five shutouts this season as Columbia’s starting goalie.

“We were coming off an ugly win in our last game, so it was nice to see us turn that around with a good performance,” Feager said. “We got into some penalty trouble late in the game, but fortunately we were able to overcome that.”

Feager praised the play of his defense in the win.

“Our defense continued to play strong for us, which is key when playing any of the teams in the 2A division,” he said. “Freeburg-Waterloo’s defense has been solid this year also, so we go into those games not expecting a lot of scoring. We were fortunate enough to capitalize on a couple of our chances.”

Columbia made it two straight over the Raging Bulldogs, winning 3-0 on Monday night in the first round robin game. Jack Sigman, Dylan Lalk and Cam Nowak each scored for the Ice Eagles.

The Ice Eagles are in first place with a 14-1-2 record entering Thursday’s tilt against Belleville.

Following the 16-game regular season, the MVCHA teams were split into two divisions, with Varsity 2A representing the top six teams and Varsity 1A representing the bottom six teams.

The six Varsity 2A teams are now playing each other to determine playoff seeding based on overall season record following 21 games.

Freeburg-Waterloo has dropped three straight following the two losses to Columbia. Last Tuesday, the Raging Bulldogs dropped a 4-1 contest to O’Fallon.

Logan Crowl scored the only goal for the Raging Bulldogs, who played O’Fallon again Tuesday night in the round robin schedule. The result was not known at press time.

Freeburg-Waterloo was cruising along this season at 13-0-1 before its current three-game losing skid.

“The last two games have been horrible,” Freeburg-Waterloo head coach Scott Roberts said following Thursday’s loss to Columbia. “I don’t know if it’s because our boys got too overconfident and thought we were unbeatable or what.” 

Roberts is hopeful his team can get back to playing winning hockey before the playoffs begin.

“I hope this week was a wake-up call to the boys because these next five games are very important regarding playoff seeding,” he said.

Freeburg-Waterloo carried a  13-3-1 record in second place ahead of O’Fallon (12-3-1) entering Tuesday’s clash.

The Raging Bulldogs will continue the round robin schedule with games against Belleville on Monday and Collinsville on Tuesday.

Corey Saathoff

Corey is the editor of the Republic-Times. He has worked at the newspaper since 2004, and currently resides in Columbia. He is also the principal singer-songwriter and plays guitar in St. Louis area country-rock band The Trophy Mules.