It’s playoff hockey time

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Columbia freshman Ryan Foster pushes the puck up the ice during a recent game. 

The regular season for the Mississippi Valley Club Hockey Association ended Thursday night with the Freeburg-Waterloo Raging Bulldogs nailing down the second overall seed and a first round bye in the playoffs, which begin this week.

The Raging Bulldogs (21-3) posted a 5-1 win over Alton on Thursday. They finished second behind Granite City (21-1-2) in the league standings. 

Among the scoring leaders this season is senior Logan Ganz, who found out Thursday that he was selected by the Connecticut Junior Rangers in the U.S. Premier Hockey League 2020 National Collegiate Development Conference Futures Draft. 

This is a tuition-free higher level junior league focused on player development and advancement to college hockey.

Ganz has 29 goals and 17 assists on the season for the Raging Bulldogs.

The Columbia Ice Eagles (15-8-1) ended their regular season with a 5-0 loss to Collinsville last Tuesday, locking up fifth place.

The Ice Eagles will battle a tough Belleville squad in the first round of the MVCHA playoffs.

Game one of this best-of-three series takes place 9 p.m. Thursday at the McKendree Metro Rec Plex in O’Fallon. 

Game two is Tuesday at 7:30 p.m., with game three (if necessary) set for 9 p.m. Feb. 13.

In the regular season, Columbia went 0-1-1 against Belleville (18-4-2).

The Ice Eagles are led in scoring by Elijah DeFosset, who has 16 goals and seven assists on the season.

Gibault Catholic High School senior Cameron Toenjes is a member of Belleville’s team. He has 12 goals and seven assists so far this season.

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