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In the opening night of the Mississippi Valley Club Hockey Association playoffs Monday night, where all series are best-of-three, Belleville defeated St. John Vianney Catholic 8-2, Bethalto took a 3-2 win over Edwardsville East, winning in a shootout 1-0, Columbia defeated Highland 10-5, Alton won over East Alton-Wood River 5-2 and Collinsville got past Freeburg/Waterloo 3-1. All winners took a 1-0 lead in their series.

Alton eliminated EAWR 2-1 to also sweep their series 2-0 in the first game of the night at East Alton Ice Arena.

The Redbirds outshot EAWR 15-8 after the first period but no one found the back of the net. Alton changed that in the second period with goals from Will Van Voorhis and Colton Thompson. Assists came from Hayden Sherman, Miles Windmiller, and Lawson Bell.

The Oilers would cut the lead in half with a goal from Jacob Vassos but couldn't mount a full comeback.

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Alton goalie Greg Fite made 19 saves on the night.

The Redbirds will meet the Columbia Eagles in round two with game one of that series on Monday, Feb. 13 at 7:35 p.m. at EAIA.

Bethalto won over Edwardsville East 5-1 to sweep the Tigers 2-0 in the second game Tuesday night. The Eagles went up 2-0 after the first period and never looked back.

On Tuesday, the Kahoks won over the Blue Rage 7-2 to sweep their series 2-0 and Vianney bounced back to defeat Belleville 4-2 to tie their series at 1-1. Columbia eliminated Highland 6-1, with the Eagles taking their series 2-0.

The Golden Griffins and Belleville play the third and deciding game of their series Thursday night a the McKendree University Rec-Plex in O'Fallon, with a 9 p.m. face-off.

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