Ice Eagles win playoff series over Raging Bulldogs - Republic-Times | News

Ice Eagles win playoff series over Raging Bulldogs

By on February 18, 2015 at 2:15 pm
Members of the Columbia Ice Eagles celebrate following the team's 3-1 win in game three of the MVCHA playoffs over the Freeburg-Waterloo Raging Bulldogs on Monday night. For more phoSee HOCKEY 3B tos, visit www.republictimes.net/photo-store. (Greg Stanek photo)

Members of the Columbia Ice Eagles celebrate following the team’s 3-1 win in game three of the MVCHA playoffs over the Freeburg-Waterloo Raging Bulldogs on Monday night. For more photos, visit www.republictimes.net/photo-store. (Greg Stanek photo)

After losing game one of the best-of-three series against their rivals, the Columbia Ice Eagles stormed back to win the next two games and advance in the MVCHA playoffs.

In the winner-take-all deciding game three on Monday night, the Freeburg-Waterloo Raging Bulldogs got on the board first, but Columbia scored three unanswered goals to win 3-1.

The Ice Eagles advance to the semifinals, where they will face 1A East Varsity division champion Edwardsville for the right to play in the MVCHA championship round against either East Alton-Wood River or Bethalto.

The Raging Bulldogs got a goal from Jacob Pitt to go up 1-0 on Monday, but the Ice Eagles answered with a goal from Garrett Poole to tie the game at 1-1 after the first period.

Blake Bulger gave the Ice Eagles the lead in the second period on an unassisted goal and Columbia led 2-1 entering the third period.

Freeburg-Waterloo had a great chance to get back into the game with a five-on-three power play, but Columbia goalie Josh Stuart made a couple of big saves to preserve the lead.

Poole netted his second goal of the game in the third period, and the Ice Eagles held on for the win.

“We knew this was going to be a tough series. We split the regular season series, so we knew we could beat them. But we also knew they could beat us,” Columbia head coach Kevin Feager said. “We knew they are a tough team and they have a very stingy goalie who can beat you by himself. We came together as a team, but we know we still have a lot of work to do.”

The Raging Bulldogs won the opening game of the series last Tuesday, 5-2, despite being outshot 28-15 in the game.

Frankie Libera scored two goals for Freeburg-Waterloo, who also got goals from Pitt, Adam Phelps and Jack Lugge.

Jacob Mathews and Chris Wagner scored for Columbia.

In game two played on Thursday, Columbia evened the series with a 5-3 win behind Poole’shat trick and solid goaltending from Stuart.

The Ice Eagles jumped out to a 3-0 lead after the first period, but the Raging Bulldogs cut the lead to 3-2 in the second period on goals from Pitt and Blake Maue.

But the Ice Eagles went back up by two scores on a goal by Bulger. Poole scored his third goal of the game in the third period, as Columbia won to force game three.

Poole scored five goals in the three-game series; Pitt led the Raging Bulldogs with three goals in the series.

“They outworked us,” Raging Bulldogs coach Scott Roberts said. “We could not stop Poole and he single-handedly beat us.”

Columbia played game one of the MVCHA semifinals Tuesday night in Granite City at 6:50 p.m.

Game two will also be at Granite City on Thursday at 9:25 p.m., with game three (if needed) to be played Monday night.

Columbia fared well against Edwardsville in the regular season, winning one and tying another.

“We know we ‘re going in as the underdog, being the third seed in the division. But we like our chances. We should be able to give them a good series,” Feager said of playing Edwardsville.

“We played them tough both games during the season, so it should be a good series. Bulger.

Poole scored his third goal of the game in the third period, as Columbia won to force game three.

Poole scored five goals in the three-game series; Pitt led the Raging Bulldogs with three goals in the series.

“They outworked us,” Raging Bulldogs coach Scott Roberts said. “We could not stop Poole and he single-handedly beat us.”

Columbia played game one of the MVCHA semifinals Tuesday night in Granite City at 6:50 p.m.

Game two will also be at Granite City on Thursday at 9:25 p.m., with game three (if needed) to be played Monday night.

Columbia fared well against Edwardsville in the regular season, winning one and tying another.

“We know we’re going in as the underdog, being the third seed in the division. But we like our chances. We should be able to give them a good series,” Feager said of playing Edwardsville.

“We played them tough both games during the season, so it should be a good series.


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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.