EAST ALTON - Freeburg/Waterloo's Connor Blair had a pair of goals on the night, but the Blue team held off a late charge, and went on to defeat the White team 4-3 in the Mississippi Valley Club Hockey Association's Class 1A All-Star Game, played Feb. 1 at the East Alton Ice Arena.

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The Blue team, which consisted of players from Alton, Highland, and East Alton-Wood River, was able to withstand an onslaught of shots from the White team, who had players from Triad, FreeburgWaterloo, and Bethalto, to take the win, which served as both a showcase for the division's best players, and allow everyone to have fun before the MVCHA playoffs begin this Thursday.

Caden Clark of the Redbirds scored the first goal of the game at 4:59 of the first period, assisted by EAWR's Abe Edwards, to give the Blues a 1-0 lead. The Whites tied the game on a goal from Stephen Rushing of Triad at 5:49 to make the score 1-1 after the first period.

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Blair gave the Whites a 2-1 lead, blasting a slap shot past the goalie at 4:59 of the second period, assisted by Ryan Lejeune of the Knights. The Blues tied the game 2-2 at 6:43, when Elijah Edwards of the Oilers scored off a scramble in front of goal, with Lawson Bell of Alton and Abe Edwards assisting. Bell gave the Blues the lead for good at 8:07, taking a pass from Michael Roe of EAWR and slotting the puck into the net to put the Blues up 3-2. Edwards also got an assist on the play.

Roe scored what proved to be the winner 34 seconds into the third period, taking a loose puck in his own zone, breaking away and slipping the puck into the net to give the Blues a 4-2 lead. Lejeune was awarded a penalty shot when he was tripped from behind on a breakaway at 8:40, but Gerold Myatt of EAWR stopped the shot to keep it 4-2.

The Whites did get a late goal with their goalie off for a sixth attacker. It was scored by Blair off a rebound at 14:37 to cut the Blues lead to 4-3, but there would be no further scoring as the Blues won.

The White team outshot the Blues in the game 51-24.

The Class 1A playoffs begin on Thursday, with fifth seed Highland meeting fourth seed EAWR at 7 p.m., while third seed Alton meets sixth seed Bethalto at 8:30 p.m., both games at the Wilson Park Ice Rink in Granite City. The top seed. the Ragin' Bulldogs, and the second seed, the Knights, received byes into the division semifinals. Both games are the first in a best-of-three series.

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