The Freeburg-Waterloo Raging Bulldogs and Columbia Ice Eagles renewed their hockey rivalry Thursday night in East Alton, and it didn’t disappoint.
In the end, the Raging Bulldogs emerged with a 2-1 win.
“It was a true rivalry game,” Raging Bulldogs coach Scott Roberts told the Republic-Times. “These two teams have been battling one another for the last couple years in very close, physical games.”
The two teams met on the ice for the first time since the Ice Eagles knocked Freeburg-Waterloo out of last year’s MVCHA playoffs.
Columbia came out strong, outshooting the ‘Dogs 15-6 in the first period. However, the Raging Bulldogs struck first on a goal from Adam Phelps to go up 1-0.
Sean Hofstetter scored for the Ice Eagles to tie the game at 1-1 after one period of play. Cam Nowak and Ryan Hofstetter assisted on the goal.
Following a scoreless second period, the two teams battled back and forth in the third before Parker McDonald scored with seven minutes remaining to put Freeburg-Waterloo on top to stay.
“At the start of the second, I felt like our boys picked up the play and spent much of the second period in the Columbia end,” Roberts said. “The third period was a battle, with back-and-forth action. Each team had a few power plays.”
Each team finished the game with 25 shots on goal, and the contest featured stellar goaltending from both Columbia’s Chase Taake and Freeburg-Waterloo’s Peyton Hamilton.
“It was a great game by both teams. Each and every player gave it their all,” Roberts said. “The goalies were both very good.”
The Raging Bulldogs were 2-0-1 on the young season entering Tuesday’s game against Collinsville in Granite City. The result was not known at press time. The team will play Granite City at 6:50 p.m. Nov. 22.
Paul Malacarne leads the Raging Bulldogs with three goals so far this season.
Columbia head coach Kevin Feager said Thursday’s game was a typical rivalry showdown.
“Over the years, this is exactly the kind of game we expect when we play them,” he said. “We knew going into Thursday’s game that it would be hard-fought by both teams. The teams picked up right where they left off in the playoffs last year with their intensity.”
The Ice Eagles are 1-2 on the young season, having lost to Belleville last Tuesday night. Columbia played Belleville again on Tuesday night at Granite City. The result was not known at press time. Columbia will battle O’Fallon in East Alton on Thursday night.
Garrett Poole leads the Ice Eagles this season with four goals and two assists.
In junior varsity hockey action, Columbia South is 4-1 on the season, while Freeburg-Waterloo is 2-2 and Columbia North is 0-3.
Hudson Miller has scored 18 goals to lead the Columbia South JV squad.
Nicholas Mumford has seven goals to lead the Freeburg-Waterloo JV squad.