EAST ALTONEdwardsville's hockey team leaves no doubt it's the top program in the Mississippi Valley Club Hockey Association.

The Tigers are an efficient team, and East Alton-Wood River saw just how efficient they are as the Tigers defeated the Oilers 12-0 in just under two periods at East Alton Ice Arena Thursday night. The game was ended with 3:35 left in the second period under the MVCHA's 12-goal mercy rule.

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That didn't mean the Tigers had some goals they wanted to accomplish in the game. “It was one of those games where we wanted to work on some things offensively,” said EHS coach Jason Walker. “I thought out defense played well as far as moving the puck. It was just one of those opportunities where we were focusing on doing things to get better.

“We were focusing on making some better hockey plays with the puck and not getting into some bad habits, making sure we got through this game through. Overall, it was a pretty good effort.”

While Walker and the Tigers are glad to have the two points for the win under their belts, “you're going to play games like that,” referring to Thursday's win and Tuesday night's similar win over Bethalto. “It's just making sure you don't get into bad habits and you improve. That was the focus for us tonight, improvement, and for the most part, our effort was pretty good.”

Team captain Carson Lewis, a junior, certainly did have a good outing; he had a five-assist night, including four in the first period and an assist on Jake Aurelio's game-ending goal, the second game in a row the senior has had the goal that brought the game to an early end; he had a pair of goals for the Tigers.

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Lucas Tucker opened the scoring for Edwardsville on Lewis' first assist of the night at 1:49 into the game, his first of three goals on the night. Trevor Henson, Tyler Schaeffer, Christian Blandina (two goals), Connor Stewart (two goals) and John Paul Krekovich also scored for EHS (3-0, six points) on the evening.

The Tigers had 25 shots on goal for the game, while the Oilers only managed three shots on goal. Blake Johnson got the shutout for Edwardsville.

While Edwardsville went unbeaten and untied last year and could be poised to do it again this season, an accomplishment like that is the furthest thing from Walker's mind. “That's not something we really talk about,” Walker said. “We're more focused on every game, every practice, just getting better. It wasn't mentioned last year, it hasn't been mentioned this year. We're just trying to get better game in and game out.”

The Oilers fell to 0-4 on the season with the loss and takes on Alton at 8:45 p.m. Thursday at East Alton; the Tigers' next games are against Granite City at 7:15 p.m. Monday and Highland at 7:15 p.m. Tuesday, also at East Alton.

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