Alton's captain, Lawson Bell, releases a shot Thursday night against Bethalto in game on of the playoffs at the Granite City Ice Rink. (Photos by Brad Piros)

GRANITE CITY - After allowing two goals in the first five minutes to the Bethalto Eagles, Alton scored seven unanswered to take a 7-2 win in game one of the playoffs at Granite City Ice Rink Thursday night.

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"It was a good response," Redbirds' head coach Bryan Clark said. "Definitely not the start that we were looking for. Came out a little flat footed. I don't know, maybe it's the nerves of the playoffs or what have you."

"But, scoring seven unanswered goals is a pretty good response to our very slow start."

Bethalto's goals came at 10:39 from Ty Ferguson assisted by Timothy Bargirl and Logan Hunt and 9:21 from Carson Landolt assisted by Grant Rhea.

They led for less than seven minutes.

Keller Jacobs took over the game at the end of the first period, cutting the lead in half at 2:59 when he scored unassisted. He doubled up 28 seconds later assisted by Caiden Clark to tie the game back up at 2-2 heading into the first intermission.

"The two goals from Keller, to get us tied up was definitely huge to start the second period fresh," coach Clark said.

The score would stay that way for most of the second period, but Jacobs found his hat trick with 31.7 seconds left in the period assisted by Lawson Bell. It went on to be the game-winner.

For good measure the Redbirds put four more in the back of the net in the third period. Bell scored twice, Clark got one and so did Talan Neely.

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Jacobs ended a five-point night with three goals and two assists.

"He was feeling it," coach Clark said about Jacobs. "Good player, been great for us, maybe a little bit of a slower start than he would have liked to at the very beginning of the year, but down this stretch heading into the playoffs, he's been playing exceptional."

Caiden Clark finished the night with a goal and two assists while Bell had two goals and a helper.

In net for Alton was Logan Seymour who recorded 20 saves, giving his team two quality, shutout periods.

"He defintely got locked in," coach Clark said of his goalie. "He'd probably like to have those [goals] back. I think we failed him a little bit in the D-zone there, we didn't get the puck cleared out, and it was too much pressure on them and we didn't respond very well."

"But, after that he just locked it in and was lights out the rest of the way. Great job by Logan."

Game two of the series will be on Monday, Feb. 12 with a 9 p.m. puck drop at East Alton Ice Arena. If needed, a game three would be on Tuesday at 7:45. p.m. also at EAIA.

"It's big," coach Clark said about the game one win.

"Bethalto's definitely a team that you don't want to overlook. They've got some talented players out there for sure. They're a hard, physical team," Clark continued.

"Getting the first one, I don't say it eases the mind by any stretch of the imagination cause in playoff times you never want to underestimate anybody. But, it's always great to get that first win with a chance to close it out next game."

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