EAST ALTON – It took a little longer, but there was another flurry of goals in a Mississippi Valley Club Hockey Association All-Star Game.
Unlike Monday night's Class 2A game, the explosion took place in the third period of the Class 1A All-Star Game. But the five-goal blitz was enough to carry the Eastern Division team to a 10-4 win over the Western Division Tuesday night at East Alton Ice Arena.
Columbia's Sean Hofstetter was the top scorer in the game, finding the back of the net four times and adding two assists for a six-point night.
Like the previous night's game, Edwardsville coach Jason Walker's East team enjoyed the moment. “We had a very talented team out there,” Walker said, “so we told them to just go out and have fun. We had a really skilled, well-balanced team and we just wanted the guys to enjoy the experience.”
The game started out tight and remained that way until the third-period outburst. “It was crazy how talented we were,” Walker said, “We just wanted everyone to be a part of it.”
The night before, it took just 30 seconds for the first goal to be scored. This night, it took a bit longer – 38 seconds – before the first score; it came from Civic Memorial's Aaron Scott, playing for the Western side, as he took a pass from Alton Marquette's Zach Hunter and beat Freeburg's Peyton Hamilton to open the scoring.
Hofstetter countered with his first goal at 3:56 when he scored unassisted past Marquette's Alex Hunter, then Freeburg's Adam Phelps solved Hunter again when he beat him off a pass from Edwardsville's Trevor Henson 4:35 to give the East a 2-1 lead. East Alton-Wood River's Seth Chester retied the game at 8:44 when he scored past Hamilton to deadlock the first period 2-2.
In the second frame, Henson gave the East the lead back when he took a pass from Hofstetter and scored behind EA-WR'S Blake Stone at 2:24, then Hofstetter scored unassisted once again at 7:04 to increase the lead to 4-2. CM's Brayden Emerick, assisted by Granite City's Cole Deyong, pulled the West back to 4-3 when Emerick beat Columbia's Josh Stewart, but Hofstetter, assisted by Edwardsville's Lucas Tucker at 13:08, completed the hat trick and sent the East into the second intermission ahead 5-3.
The Eastern third-period goal-scoring run began when Columbia's Blake Bulger scored what proved to be the winning goal past CM's Alec Hilliard at 7:22 assisted by Freeburg's Scott Nanney and Columbia's Chris Wagner. Bulger scored again at 9:19, assisted by Edwardsville's John Paul Krekovich and Freeburg's Clayton McDonald, then Hofstetter, from Edwardsville's Reilly Patton, scored his fourth at 12:09 with assists from Tucker and Hofstatter, and Highland's Shayne Korte finished off the Eastern scoring 19 seconds later with an assist from Patton. CM's Konnor Loewen got an unassisted consolation goal past Edwardsville's Matthew Griffin with nine seconds left to finish off the scoring.
The West outshot the East 35-27.
With the all-star games completed, attention turns to the MVCHA Playoffs, which begin with four games at East Alton and Granite City Thursday night.
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Feeney, 56, is a native of Granite City and graduated from Granite City South in 1978. He was a part-time writer for the old Granite City Journal from 1979-84 before attending Eastern Illinois University in Charleston,
from which he earned his BA in journalism in 1988. He has worked for newspapers in Sikeston, Mo., Rocky Mount, N.C., Seneca, S.C. and in Charleston-Mattoon. He also worked for the old St. Clair County Suburban