Ice Eagles, Raging Bulldogs look to finish season strong

Pictured, Raging Bulldog Scott Nanney skates past a Kahok defender Jan. 2 against Collinsville. (Greg Stanek photo)

The Columbia Ice Eagles hockey team got off to a rocky start under new head coach Kevin Feager, compiling a record of 1-5-1, but seem to have found their groove of late. Columbia has won four in a row, outscoring opponents 27-5 in that stretch to even their record at 5-5-1 heading into the home stretch of the regular season.

They currently sit in third place in the MVCHA 1A Varsity East division, three points behind second place Collinsville.

The defense has stepped up, allowing an average of 16 shots per game over the four-game winning streak, and senior goalie Josh Fleming has been stellar, allowing only five goals during that time.

“Josh is on a good run right now,” said Feager. “We have been continuing to grow as a team and everyone is doing their part to make this team successful.”

The Eagles are led by junior Kyle Eagan with 9 goals, while freshman Garrett Poole leads the team with 14 total points.

The JV Ice Eagles have a record of 6-5-2 so far on the season.

“We only have six games left in the regular season, but we feel we have a chance at finishing strong,” Feager said. “We will start getting some of our players back soon. So far this season, we have only had our full team available for two games, due to injuries and travel.”

The Freeburg-Waterloo Raging Bulldogs are sitting at 3-8-1 on the season and are in fourth place in the MVCHA 1A Varsity East division — six points behind Columbia. This is their first year together as a team and first year for high school hockey in Waterloo since 2010.

Monday night against Jerseyville, the Raging Bulldogs dominated in a 10-1 win. Adam Gauch scored a hat trick and only needed two periods to do it, as his team led 6-1 heading into the third.

Austin Patton and Jacob Schaefer also scored goals in the win.

The team consists mainly of underclassmen, and with age restrictions for varsity play and injuries, they have played with a short bench most of the season. But they have been better than their record indicates.

“We have improved as a team but should have more wins than three,” said coach Scott Roberts. “There have been a couple of games we had a chance to win but came up just short.”

The varsity squad is led in scoring by senior Gauch, and freshmen Patton and Scott Nanney. Freshman goalie Peyton Hamilton has also been solid for them between the pipes.

The Raging ‘Dogs JV squad is currently 6-4-4 and in fourth place in their division, giving high hopes for this new and young team moving forward.

Parker McDonald, Patton and Nanney, all freshmen, are the leading scorers for the JV squad while Hamilton and seventh grader Trevor Smith have been strong in goal this season.

“We are really happy with the play of our JV team,” Roberts said. “We are expecting big things from these boys.”

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