Undefeated Edwardsville (12-0) faces Alton (9-2) in a key Mississippi Valley Club Hockey Association New Year's Day night matchup at 7:30 Thursday at the East Alton Ice Rink.

Both Edwardsville coach Jason Walker and Alton coach Abram Henson expect an exciting evening on the ice.

“It’s a big game,” Walker said. “Alton is always one of the tougher teams in the league and is a division opponent. Alton has a very strong team and is very well coached. They have a group of older talented seniors and are a physical team. It will definitely be a tough test for us.”

Henson agreed that it is a huge game for both teams.

“The last time we played them we lost 5-0, but I don’t think it will be the same this time,” he said. “I think we have come together and improved a lot the last few games. We are playing our own style and I think we are more ready for this match than before.”

Henson said the key for his team is to play the Redbirds’ own game.

“This is probably the biggest game so far in the MVCHA,” he said. “If we fall into the trap we did last time and not catch breakaways, we won’t be able to win. It all depends if we come ready to play.”

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