Raging Bulldogs, Ice Eagles on fire to close out year

Waterloo-Freeburg Peyton Hamilton stops a shot during a recent game. (Greg Stanek photo)

With the holiday season upon us, local high school ice hockey action has slowed down a bit.

But there have been a few games played, and the Waterloo-Freeburg Raging Bulldogs have taken advantage of a very hot goalie in Peyton Hamilton to win back-to-back games, both of them shutout victories, heading into Monday night showdown against 1A Varsity East Division leading foe Edwardsville.

The ‘Dogs topped Jerseyville on Dec. 16 by the score of 6-0 thanks to a great all-around team effort.

Waterloo followed up that win with a hard-fought 1-0 victory on Dec. 23 against Bethalto.

Hamilton and the ‘Dogs were outshot 30-18 in the game but took the win on a goal by senior captain Blake Maue.

“Goaltending, what can I say about Peyton? In our minds as coaches he is hands down one of the best, if not the best, goalie in the league and the kid is only a sophomore,” Waterloo-Freeburg coach Scott Roberts said. “Combined between JV and varsity I believe he has around eight or nine shutouts. He is one of the main reasons our teams have been so successful so far this season.”

Waterloo has been a very balanced team on offense and defense this year, getting scoring production from across the board.

“Our scoring has been spread out this year, which helps us a lot,” Roberts said. “Our leading scorer is Adam Phelps, followed by Scott Nanney, Jacob Pitt and Jacob Schaefer. Defensively, I feel we have the best D-men in the league. Jack Lugge, who is a freshman, is a standout defenseman and Austin Patton has played extremely well — especially getting moved back and forth between forward and defense on a daily basis.”

Waterloo is sitting at 8-4-0 with a big week ahead of them. Following the Edwardsville game on Monday (result not known at press time), on Tuesday night they have a rematch with East Alton-Wood River, who they lost to earlier in the season.

The Waterloo-Freeburg JV squad won a big game on Saturday in a game of unbeatens. The ‘Dogs topped Edwardsville North, 2-0, to remain undefeated on the year with an 11-0 mark.

The Columbia Ice Eagles have only played one game in the past two weeks, topping Granite City by a score of 8-1.

Blake Bulger, Kyle Eagan and Sean Hofstetter netted two goals each to lead the Eagles attack.

The win improved their record to 7-4-2 in the MVCHA 1A Varsity East Division.

The Eagles’ next game is Tuesday night against Jerseyville.

Columbia head coach Kevin Feager said his varsity squad is finishing up a pretty good month.  So far in December, the Eagles are 4-1-1.

Our offense has been led by freshman Sean Hofstetter, with 19 goals and 26 points in 13 games,” Feager said. “Blake Bulger is also having a good season with eight goals and 17 points in 13 games.”

The defense and goaltending has also played well in the month of December, Feager said, allowing 17 goals in the past six games.

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