Local hockey teams begin play

Freeburg-Waterloo’s Logan Ganz goes on a breakaway during a game last season.

With the calendar turning over to November, the high school club hockey season is now underway. 

Mississippi Valley Club Hockey Association rivals Freeburg-Waterloo and Columbia were both in action Monday to kick off their respective 2021-22 campaigns.

The Raging Bulldogs skated away with an 8-2 victory over Vianney in its season opener.

Logan Ganz, the senior assistant captain for the Raging Bulldogs, recorded a hat trick and dished out five assists to lead all scorers.

Ganz, a team leader for Freeburg-Waterloo for many seasons, was selected by the Connecticut Junior Rangers of the U.S. Premier Hockey League in the 2020 National Collegiate Development Conference.

Caiden Anderson, a freshman, recorded two goals for his first high school points.

Others scoring goals for Freeburg-Waterloo were senior captain Donovan Knuckles, sophomore Connor Blair and senior Keary Thompson. 

Brayden Richey, a junior, had three assists.

Matthew Bushee made 20 saves in net for the Raging Bulldogs, who battled Bethalto on Tuesday at the McKendree Metro Rec Plex in O’Fallon. 

Freeburg-Waterloo made it two wins in two tries Tuesday night, rolling to an 8-0 victory over Bethalto. Ganz again led the offensive charge with three goals and two assists. Knuckles and Blair each scored twice and freshman Austin Hopfinger netted his first career varsity goal. The Raging Bulldogs outshot Bethalto 58-6.

Connor Miller picked up the shutout in net for Freeburg-Waterloo.

The Ice Eagles also opened play Monday night, skating to a 1-1 tie with Granite City.

Scoring for Columbia was sophomore Nathan Carr, assisted by sophomore Dean Lyon. 

The Ice Eagles will take on East Alton-Wood River in Granite City on Thursday night. 

Columbia plays Monday against Alton in East Alton and Tuesday against Belleville at the McKendree Metro Rec Plex.

For a full schedule of upcoming MVCHA action, click here.

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