EAST ALTONEdwardsville's hockey team had a season most teams can only dream about last year.

The Tigers went unbeaten and untied in their Class 2A division in the Mississippi Valley Club Hockey Association and went on to claim the league's championship.

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Some changes were made to the league this season due to two teams dropping out – there's no more Class 1A and 2A divisions, for instance – but the Tigers haven't missed a beat, opening their MVCHA season with an 11-2 win over Alton at East Alton Ice Arena Tuesday night.

“I think it was one of those things where eight (non-league) games before this one really helped out,” said Tiger coach Jason Walker. “I thought their effort was very good; (Alton) gave us everything we could handle as far as their effort level goes. I think, that being their second game, they're going to be a tough team to handle.”

Edwardsville set the tone early – as in 10 seconds into the game – when Tyler Hinterser scored the first of his two goals past Redbird netminder Caleb Currie. “That's something we always talk about,” Walker said,” getting off to a good start. You can't ask for a better start than that, 10 seconds into the game. The team was really ready for this one.

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“We've played eight games already, but playing a league game against an opponent we're very familiar with and with all the fans here was something they were really excited about.”

“You have to score early and often,” Hinterser said, “and we did tonight. “Me and Schaef (Tyler Schaeffer; both scored 40-plus goals for EHS last season) were ready to go and everyone else was ready to go too.”

Hinterser, in fact, scored the first two goals of the game, at 10 seconds and 6:52 of the first period as the Tigers got out of the gates quickly, then poured it on in the second period, thanks to goals from Stanley Lucas, Logan Bielicke, Jake Aurelio, Trevor Henson and Schaeffer. Alton finally got on the board at 9:29 of the second when Joe Boevingloh got one past Tiger goalie Matthew Griffin and Zack Hunter also scored for the Redbirds at 12:47 of the period.

Christian Blandina (twice), Schaeffer and Reilly Patton all scored for the Tigers in the final period. In all, the Tigers got 65 shots on Currie, while Alton could only manage 12 shots on Griffin.


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